Community Service Projects
Diverse community service projects do not need to be limited to large organizations, as smaller companies can have just as big of an impact, if not more so, within their communities. When employees put their job skills to good use in a volunteer capacity, there’s an opportunity for those employees to improve and exercise their workplace skills. In a new environment, employees get more creative, troubleshoot problems in different ways and gain additional skills that they might not have an opportunity to utilize within the office.
In a time of social media, it’s no surprise that customer perception has a huge impact on a business’s brand. Word of mouth has gone digital in a big way, and people aren’t just taking a company’s products and services into account. When companies show a commitment to their communities, customers notice.
A company’s ethics, employee satisfaction, and community involvement are beginning to become important factors in which brand a consumer chooses. “The Reputation Institute” has reported that consumers give more weight to a company’s reputation than their products at a rate of 60 percent to 40 percent respectively. Additionally, 41 percent of consumer perception is based on three community service project related factors: citizenship, workplace, and governance.
The Walt Disney Company has had a stellar reputation for decades, not just because they bring smiles to the face of children with toys and movies, but because the company is deeply rooted in giving back. Volunteerism and philanthropy have long been a part of the company culture, and their genuine interest in improving the lives of as many people as possible is palpable. From their “Heroes Work Here” program that makes a commitment to hiring veterans and helping their families to creating one of the most substantial environmental policies.
It’s not just the customers that make up a community. Other businesses, local government and neighbors all take note of how active a company is in the community. Despite the presence of the Internet, the health of a local community greatly influences the well-being of the businesses within it. Community service not only creates goodwill, it can improve a business’ prospects and employee recruitment by making the area a better place to live and work.
Yes, engaged employees generate more earnings for businesses. Yes, community service projects build a good reputation for a business. Yes, volunteer programs will give a business a leg up when it comes to hiring. But above all else, a community service project will help a business make a positive change in the lives of many people who aren’t tied at all to profit margins.