The pandemic has brought back some old trends. From bread baking at home, drive-in film showings and board games, one comeback has been the most heart-warming of all- helping the community.
It comes as no surprise that volunteering and offering our time, resources and effort to those who desperately need help has many benefits for our own health, both physical and mental. Community service allows volunteers to develop a sense of social responsibility, and paints a bigger picture of the world we live in. With such view on the society, we are able to appreciate what we do have and feel the need to ‘give back’, as it is one way to improve the quality of life of others.
Whilst getting involved with the community as part of work is not unheard of, it is not a popular trend either. Some companies work closely with national and/or local charities or community groups but rarely get physically involved and help out with their day-to-day tasks during work hours. We hope that this post will encourage you to consider making community service part of your company’s work! Below are the main benefits of doing so:
Your team already is already loaded with talent, skills and characteristics needed to perform well in their role at your company. By providing them with a chance to offer their expertise to others, they might gain completely new skills without even realising. Some of those could include teaching and mentoring, interpersonal and intercultural communication and creating strong connections with others. These skills are valuable for any employee, in any field and could be developed by ‘giving up’ as little as 2 hours a week to community service.
Additionally, being an active member of the community will help you gain expertise in your field of interest and networking with people who are already a part of that field. Even if you have no plans or desire to change your career, volunteering permits you to learn and develop essential workplace skills such as collaboration, persuasion, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organisation. It is a win-win scenario, as you can become a better person as a result of helping others.
2. Bigger picture= more appreciation
Doing volunteer work that you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing and act as an escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life. Enriching your community is a fantastic way to expand your perceptions of the world (Source:https://www.ef.com/wwen/blog/efacademyblog/importance-giving-back-to-your-community/) Serving others provides you with a special sense of self, which also manifests in other aspects of your life. You are then more likely to see your life and future aspirations in a good light, making them seem more achievable and realistic.
There are so many projects/organisations that could use your help, as there is always something that is needed. This allows us to see the bigger picture of where we are in life, what we are capable of and what we have achieved to be in a fortunate position to offer our help to those who need it.
Volunteering will help your team gain self-confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of fulfilment in life. By helping people and the world, you experience a natural feeling of achievement. Voluntary work will also provide your team with a sense of pride and belonging, which will also improve their relationships with each other. By utilising the skills your staff already have, they can gain extra ones along the way that will make them much more confident, happy and efficient employees. This is especially true for companies who employ graduates or young professionals- these people need this more than anyone.
4. Increased productivity
Research carried out Professor Cassie Mogilner, later published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that those ‘giving their time to others can make them feel more “time affluent” and less time-constrained than wasting their time, spending it on themselves, or even getting a windfall of free time.’ (Source: https://hbr.org/2012/09/youll-feel-less-rushed-if-you-give-time-away)
As our motto states; happy employees + happy customers = successful business. We think the best way to achieve this is through constantly reconnecting, rewarding and revitalising your team. Why not do this by offering them the opportunity to give back to the community as part of work. By doing so, they will be more motivated and equally more productive to ensure the success of your company.
Volunteering may not seem like a tool to improve our own lives, rather the lives of others. But the research carried out in this area reveals that this is a win-win scenario. It benefits everyone involved and if companies manage to find the right cause to support, it gives their teams something to look forward to.