Even when you’re not at work, your company’s culture matters

Who are you when you’re not repairing things?

These days, a homeowner can do a quick Google search and come up with dozens of options for a contractor. It’s often no longer enough for a business to simply be good at home repairs and service — it’s also important that a business can prove it is the right choice for a consumer’s dollars. Customers want to feel good about the decisions they make regarding the home service company they engage for a job, but the selection process can feel overwhelming at times.

That’s why who you and the members of your company are when you’re not at work can be as important as the work you perform.

Customers, employees, and charity

Consumers today want to support a company that’s giving back to the community — one that’s actively engaged with local charities or important causes. Many business owners know this and state on their websites that they contribute to and work with a variety of charities. The business owners usually select the charities they’re passionate about, which is great! But they may miss a wonderful opportunity to connect with others if they fail to consider their potential clients’ interests in these charities or causes. Owners also frequently overlook their employees’ ideas about where their companies should be charitably giving, meaning they’re passing up a chance to improve happiness and engagement in their workplaces.

Why does it matter? Because a recent study by JS Daw & Associates found that 93 percent of all millennials (people born between 1981-1996) have donated to at least one non-profit organization. Homeownership is also on the rise with millennials — this group now owns at least 39 percent of all homes. That number is only going to climb. Consider who you’re hiring right now — are you hiring millennials? If you are, consider this: millennials, in general, are highly interested in working for companies they feel good about. They also want to spend their dollars at these companies! This leads to an obvious conclusion: to attract millennials — a huge group of potential customers — as both a recruiting and consumer base, companies should make it clear they donate to charities, and consider their charity choices carefully, as part of their culture.

How to get involved in charity

Connecting with your employees over a culture of giving back is a fantastic strategy for improving retention and workplace happiness. To that end, many businesses consistently incorporate ways to contribute to their community into workplace life. For example, your leadership team might interview employees to find out the top three charitable organizations or non-profit groups each employee is passionate about. They could then choose one of these charities as the focus for the month and select an employee spokesperson for the charity. The employee spokesperson could share information about the organization with their team members and explain why they’re passionate about the cause. The team could then choose a way to give back to the cause; options might include raising monetary donations, participating in public events, or performing an act of service for the cause.

Specific ways for a company to give back to a charitable cause include:

  • Participating in a charity 5k run/walk
  • Volunteering at a local animal shelter
  • Collecting non-perishable items for a food bank
  • Cleaning up trash and debris from a road or public area
  • Planting flowers or sprucing up a community area.

Companies are only limited by their imaginations!

The benefits of being involved in charity

Through giving back, employees bond with one another and help create a company culture of empathy and caring. Creating a culture of caring helps employees feel more connected to their company. In turn, they may perform better at their jobs. There’s truth to the saying that happy employees make happy customers. If your employees feel proud of the company they work for, they’re more likely to educate customers about why your company is deserving of their dollars. A happy, connected employee working for a company they believe in will typically fight harder for each customer, and do a better job each time.

As owners and employees, we find what we focus on. If you and your team focus on what you’re passionate about outside of work, that same renewed passion and zeal will carry over into the workplace. As an added benefit, corporate-sponsored group events and support often lead to media coverage or employees sharing events on social media outlets. This means a company that gives back often reaches a wider percentage of the population with its message.

When your company’s actions make it clear to customers, employees, and community members that your company cares about others, the rewards are more than worth the effort. You’ll find that you attract more customers, retain happier employees, and feel great about your company’s place in your neighborhood.

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Tracy is a coach at Nexstar who focuses on the implementation of Nexstar processes in contractor call centers. She brings experience from several PHCE-industry roles, including CSR, dispatcher, call center manager, corporate trainer and more.