I have discovered that prioritizing and maintaining community initiatives can be challenging when you’re navigating the daily struggles of a startup or the challenges of an ongoing business. But, I can assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
If you are a startup or ongoing business, here are three tips for getting your company on the right path:
1. Begin with people: Building a foundation for giving back through your business is all about your company culture. Start by taking an employee-centric approach – this means learning what’s meaningful to your team members and connecting with them to learn about their ideas and opportunities for community outreach.
Encourage your team to volunteer — and supporting them with company-sponsored volunteer days or flexible hours — will emphasize the true value your company place on getting involved.
2. Find a champion: There is someone in your organization who embodies the culture you’re looking to achieve. Make this person your champion in identifying opportunities and leading your company’s engagement for community outreach.
Along with recognizing the champion’s dedication and skills, remember you are also encouraging other employees to get involved as well.
Further down the road, you’ll likely find yourself with multiple champions.
3. Keep up the hype: Like any good thing, community involvement takes continued work over a period of time. You must constantly promote your give-back philosophy, remind employees about opportunities, and most importantly, reward your team’s involvement.
What you are doing is creating embedded corporate social responsibility, which has been proven to increase the commitment, motivation, and productivity of employees.
Research shows that engaged employees are 2 ½ times more likely to exceed their performance expectations.
Authentic community involvement doesn’t happen overnight. Start by researching and finding the right fit for your business goals and your employees’ interests as well. But always keep moving forward.
You can try out different projects, re-evaluate your direction, and adjust course as necessary.
The satisfaction you get from giving back is well worth the time and the actual benefits to your company’s success is the icing on the cake.
Once you know what success is for you, then re-define your personal core values (if necessary) for your lifestyle and always have a Strategic Success Plan for your Life!
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As a reminder, for career and businesswomen it’s always about – ‘Results. Uniqueness. Differentiation.’ I call this your ‘RUD’.
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