The Benefits of Community Service

Ask anyone that is remotely familiar with me, and they will tell you “Michelle is always up to something.” I firmly believe the old adage “idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” so I do my best to stay busy. I’m not saying that boredom and “idleness” leads me to committing vandalism, but it certainly keeps me from living a productive life where I could be contributing to my community. Instead of binge-watching Netflix every night, I like to spend my time getting involved in the community by focusing on various activities, social groups, and volunteering.

As a business, encouraging your employees to get involved in their community is going to benefit your company in more ways than one. The United Health Group’s 2013 Health and Volunteering Study showed that 78% of people said they feel less stressed after volunteering, which in turn allows them to be more engaged in their work. The study also showed 81% of people who volunteered through their workplace, said they felt a stronger relationship with their colleagues.

Investing in your employees and investing in your community can easily go hand in hand. As an employer, you’re not only gaining goodwill with your team, but also with your community and clientele. The Forbes article How Community Involvement Programs Can Grow Your Business states that “Roughly 82% of U.S. Consumers actually consider corporate social responsibility when deciding what services and products to buy and from where.” While community involvement is fantastic for business, the article further explains that investing in the community shouldn’t be done simply for profit, “Genuinely help people and the benefits will come.” Volunteering can seem selfish at times. The desire to help others is often seen as an attempt at self-gratification. The truth is people are meant to help to each other. We are a community and feeling happier and healthier after volunteering is just a great side effect of doing our part to help people, animals, the environment, and ultimately…the world.

While it’s nice to kick back and binge-watch Netflix with my dogs, I’d rather we were out helping our community. If you’re looking for ideas to encourage community involvement amongst your team check out the following:

If you are seeking something more local, check:

  • Your local or state Farm Bureau
  • Your local school district
  • Your city’s Chamber of Commerce
  • Your local shelters (both homeless and animal)

We all have time, how will you spend it?

 

About the Author

+Michelle Genova is a consultant at Morrison, providing business valuations, business planning (including budgeting, cash flow forecasting, and strategic planning), feasibility studies, recruitment, interim executive CFO services, competitive grant writing and special projects that don't fit into any conventional category. You can contact Michelle directly at mgenova@morrisonco.net or via telephone at 530-893-4764 ext. 209.

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