Are you a company that gives, or one that truly invests in helping others? Many companies give money to charities and provide opportunities for their employees to donate, but fewer actually invest substantial time in doing good or make it a routine part of their culture. Please don’t get me wrong – corporate giving is a wonderful and much needed thing, but if we are being honest, as companies isn’t our giving sometimes like dropping an occasional dollar in the cup of a homeless person? Of course we do it to help, but we do it because it makes us feel better too, and that’s where it ends.
So, why not take it a step further? Why not provide your employees with regular time to invest in something? Not only will this affirm your commitment to giving back, but it will also empower your employees to make a difference. Within a company, being united in an effort to do good for others can break down barriers and create camaraderie. It can boost employee morale and lead to higher retention. Here are a few ways to create a culture of giving:
Giving is good, but investing is better.
Admit it. If you are like most people, the fact that you are even reading a blog written by an HR person is probably making you a bit uncomfortable. I mean, “HR people” are all policies and procedures, and they do their best to complicate things and point out what you are doing wrong. Right?
Actually, you’re wrong. (Did you catch that?) If you had asked my opinion of HR professionals 10 years ago, I had pretty much the same impression of HR that I just shared. So, nobody was more surprised than I was when I did a career 180 to join the HR ranks. I was fortunate to join a forward-thinking technology company where the leadership believed that HR was an integral part of the business – representative of the company AND the employees.
Fortunately, the HR profession has evolved over the years. Enlightened companies now understand the value of HR as a strategic partner – someone who knows your employees as well as your business. A good HR leader can work with you to put cost-effective programs and systems in place that will not only help to move your company forward, but also create loyalty and engagement within the workforce. Did I mention corporate culture? Yep. A buzz-phrase for sure, but whether accidental or intentional every company has one. It’s what defines your organization on the inside and makes people want to work for you. It’s what creates self-proclaimed corporate ambassadors or tainted nay-saying scoffers. It can draw people in or make them run screaming.
So, if you are building a company, or maybe re-building one, allow me to give you my two cents on some of the things that are important:
If you do these things, I can pretty much guarantee you will see improved morale, experience better retention, and realize cost savings. Don’t overcomplicate it. And if you need someone to help you along the way, just ask.