Community Service Is Important for Your Interiorscape Company
I recently wrote an article on “Job Recruiting and Hiring for Your Interiorscape Company.” In that post, I discuss how to write, post, and share job descriptions, along with other details interiorscape business owners should know about the hiring process. Today, I pick up the same thread but from a different angle.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Many, many great articles have been published on what companies look for in employees. But what do employees look for in companies? What can you do within your interiorscape business to draw the kind of talent and people to grow your vision? My answer: culture and community service. We’ll explore why community service is a must for your interiorscape company and save the culture conversation for another day.
What Is Community Service and Why to Get Involved
While you may at first think defining community service is a waste of time, it’s important we all be on the same page. Community service is not donating money. It is not giving away belongings. It is not supporting a non-profit.
Community service is giving directly of your time and energy to benefit people
and causes in your locality.
Community service requires your presence, your effort, and your engagement with the individuals, organizations, and processes that make up your community. Why is such service important? Simply put, because community service gives us the emotional connection to find motivation, fulfillment, and meaning in our work and in our lives. Community service offers another bottom line for companies–that of social impact. This social dimension of the bottom line offers a company the opportunity to build relationships, to increase the quality of life, to grow the local economy.
Job Seekers and Community Service
Studies reveal that job searchers, especially Millennials, will take a company’s community service into account when applying for and accepting positions. All things equal, they will favor the company with more community involvement. Furthermore, some research shows that employees will leave companies if that business lacks or lessens community service opportunities.
“You can buy a man’s time, you can buy a man’s physical presence at a given place; you can even buy a measured number of skilled muscular motions per hour or day. But you cannot buy enthusiasm; you cannot buy initiative; you cannot buy loyalty; you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds, and souls. You have to earn these things.”
Clarence Francis, Chairman General Foods
Community service provides opportunities to establish emotional connections between management and employees, coworkers, and the business and surrounding community. When a leader engages in community service and encourages those around him or her to do the same, that leader can earn and build employee enthusiasm, loyalty, and devotion. And those things are what truly make a difference in business and life at the end of the day.
Employees and Community Service
To your employees, community service sends the message that the company and leadership stands for and acts for what is values. When everyone in the company serves together, those community projects become sources for unforgettable memories and stories. Those moments build and promote a positive culture and corporate identity everyone participates in. This shared identity strengthens your interiorscape company, allowing you to grow and give back even more.
Like every business, you ask a lot of your employees. Most of them work hard to fulfill their responsibilities and serve the customers and clients. But, as the nursery rhyme goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Working at full speed for a long time leads to burnout. When you give employees the opportunity to support and serve causes close to their hearts, you allow them to recharge. They can then return to work re-energized and refocused.
Furthermore, when employees can volunteer their talents and abilities, they can improve and develop skills that will benefit the company. The unfamiliar environments they’ll experience through community service will force your employees to get creative, troubleshoot problems differently, and learn additional skills that they may not have needed to use before. Not only does community service promote self-development, it also cultivates teamwork, collaboration, and communication. The commitment to community service makes employees feel proud of their company and themselves.
Clients and Community Service
While community service is primarily about benefiting others, it doesn’t hurt that such acts can provide positive exposure for your interiorscape company. When you engage with causes that your clients and potential clients are involved in, you establish credibility and a personal relationship with those people. Just as community service plays into a job searcher’s decision on which company to work for, so it influences which company a customer chooses to do business with. Just consider companies such as The Walt Disney Company, Hobby Lobby, or Warby Parker.
By serving your community outside the daily work grind, you can also expand your professional network beyond your clients, partners, and industry. This network builds goodwill between businesses and individuals, which can improve everyone’s prospects and employee retention and recruitment by making the community a better place to live and to work.
Community and Community Service
Ultimately, community service is not about job seekers, clients, employees, or company brand. The most important outcome of community service is a happier, healthy society. Remember the definition of community service from above? Community service is giving directly of your time and energy to benefit people and causes in your locality. While community service will impact your bottom line, the real reason you and your employees should volunteer and give back has nothing to do with profit. It has to do with building relationships and improving the quality of life.
Community service does not always mean you and your employees need to find opportunities outside your organization to serve. Sometimes it means looking for ways to create opportunities for your community within your company. These opportunities might look like internships or apprenticeships. Such positions serve the young adults in your community by providing a job and the chance to learn new skills and explore career interests while also benefiting your business.
Ideas for Community Service
Community service is a great way to partner with other companies and organizations to improve people’s’ lives. Look for events, programs, or projects in your city that you and your employees could volunteer at. Even better, find opportunities that align with your interiorscape company’s brand.
For example, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is a nonprofit dedicated to “preserving the natural beauty and environment in American communities.” They run several programs a year, from picking up trash to handing out plants to renovating unused parking lots into greenspaces. If your interiorscape business is all about helping the environment, bringing nature indoors, or improving the wellbeing of your community, organizations like Keep Indianapolis Beautiful would be the perfect partner.
The holidays bring countless opportunities to serve your community. From food pantries to homeless shelters, from foster care homes to prison ministries, there is a cause for everyone to get involved with during the final months of the year. You’ll discover volunteer opportunities in places you might not expect, including museums and animal rescue centers. These are great organizations to support throughout the year as well.
Find out how your community celebrates Earth Day. Discover programs that allow your employees to hand out plants in the local hospital. Look into educating the nextdoor elementary children on the environment. Most importantly, keep an open mind when it comes to deciding where you should
volunteer and serve your community. Check out our blog post on “How Did You Celebrate National Indoor Plant Week?” for more ideas on how to get your interiorscape company involved in your community.
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