People go into business for many reasons – to provide a needed product or service, to fulfill the dream of entrepreneurship, to make a difference – but one of the top reasons is to make money. It’s a noble task to financially provide for yourself and your family, and in the process, you can also create the opportunity for others to earn a living.
However, with more attention being placed on corporate giving and social activism, there has been a push for businesses of all sizes to give back. And while giving back does require time, effort, and sometimes money, it does provide benefits. CECP, a coalition of CEOs focused on social improvement, found that “companies that have increased giving by more than 10 percent since 2010 also increased median revenues by 11%—and, profits increased for 59% of those companies.”
Giving back can also increase employee morale and provide good PR for your business. Here are a few ways your business can give back.
The most frequent idea associated with corporate generosity is giving to the community. The majority of people have heard about the various philanthropic programs set up by major corporations like Apple, Kellogg, and Johnson & Johnson. But, smaller companies can have just as much impact in their local communities without the negative side effects that some business leaders might worry about.
An article from Inc., stated that “The coordination of just a few annual community or volunteer events will connect your business with hundreds of positive, productive members of your community. In many cases, this can be even more cost-effective than traditional promotional activities.”
The article went on to point out that giving back can also result in great “ROI for small business,” “employee engagement,” “buy-in to marketing programs,” and “opportunities to connect directly with community leaders and other key influencers.”
Another opportunity to give back is through a business’s own employees. And, while most business leaders may not lump such things as employee bonuses, gifts, workplace benefits, tuition reimbursement and appreciation events with other types of generosity, these are ways that businesses can give back to their most important assets.
And it has its own forms of ROI, including heightened morale, increased engagement, higher productivity, and decreased turnover rates. At the end of 2014, Forbes published an article that highlighted a survey of over 200,000 employees across hundreds of companies.
TINYpulse, the employee engagement firm that conducted the research, asked, “What motivates you to excel and go the extra mile at your organization?” Respondents indicated that camaraderie, peer motivation, feeling encouraged, and being recognized, which can all be achieved by employers giving back to their workers, motivated them to work harder.
Poet and award-winning author Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” There are always ways that companies, even small businesses, can “throw something back.” Ultimately everyone wins when companies give back, including the businesses themselves.
What are some ways your company gives back? How has it impacted factors like employee morale or motivation? Let us know in the comments section below.
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