As the business environment has evolved over the past few decades, so has the impact that community service has on both companies and their employees. Surveys have shown that incorporating dedicated community service activities into the mix of employee engagement has tremendous benefits, including:
- Employees who are active in community service and volunteerism as a part of their company feel a greater sense of loyalty and commitment to their employer.
- Employee morale is higher when a company shows a commitment to their community through ongoing volunteer efforts.
- When an employee brings a passion project forward to their company and they are encouraged and supported, there is an emotional satisfaction for both the employee and the company, as well as a positive impact on the community.
- It makes good business sense, attracting customers and employees who support a company’s commitment to more than just the bottom line.
There are three ways to start thinking about a company’s engagement in community service.
1. Happy employees are better for your business.
In years past, companies were only focused inward, thinking about revenue, profits and overall business growth. The idea of investing time and money in an outward way, such as allowing employees to volunteer on company time and planning a strategy for how and what the company would provide to their surrounding community on a regular basis, was not on the radar screen.
In the past few decades, however, more individuals have recognized the importance of finding ways to give back to their community. Food banks have become commonplace and yearly holiday donations are the norm. More recently, community gardens have sprung up, cleanup programs to help the environment and helping underprivileged communities around town have brought an increased awareness to individuals who then bring that awareness to the companies where they work.
Company leadership teams recognize that part of creating a positive work environment includes a positive employee mood, motivation and sense of caring. If employees are happy, they will be more productive, stay with the company for a longer period of time and help in recruitment efforts.
As an example, Murphy’s Corporate Housing Associates (MCHA) has recognized that there is an obligation to making a commitment to helping communities in the neighborhoods, cities, and countries where our partners provide housing relocation. This was a specific strategy based on wanting to create a positive impact on those communities, with our partner companies and with the people who relocate to those communities.
As a result of these efforts, MCHA has recently been recognized by the Better Business Bureau for its achievements and commitment to quality in the workplace, with a BBB Award of Excellence Winner of Distinction. This was the 12th time the company was recognized by the Better Business Bureau for service excellence. It is a reflection of a corporate commitment, a way in which the company approaches its business in general, and it sends a message to our employees about how much we care about them and the people they work with every day.
2. Individual Employees can make a difference.
Many times, an employee will already have a passion project that they will bring to the company for involvement and support. One of our global Account Executives, Jamie Maslar, became aware of the plight of these girls through a non-profit organization in Sierra Leone called Save The Young Girls Foundation. Its mission is to be a safe haven for girls to come to in time of need, to be able to get food and shelter.
Mr. Maslar worked tirelessly to raise funds for this organization and engaged not only Murphy’s Corporate Housing Associates to get involved, but many of his business colleagues as well. As a result, not only did the Save the Young Girls Foundation raise the money they needed to begin building a new housing facility for the girls, but his efforts gained notice within our business community, and one of the relocation companies that we work with, Cartus, rewarded Mr. Maslar and Murphy’s with the 2021 Global Citizen Award, along with a $3,000 donation to Save The Young Girls Foundation.
The benefits of Mr. Maslar’s efforts reached across the globe. It also proved the point that by supporting his efforts, Murphy’s Corporate Housing Associates is now recognized for its commitment to charitable giving. This raises awareness of the company as a positive environment for both business partnerships and employee engagement.
3. Don’t forget your reputation management in the business community.
Volunteerism and donations to great charitable causes are important. It is equally important to show a commitment within the work that you do with your business partners, clients and industry colleagues. Many non-profit organizations and publications that are industry specific can be helpful participants in your initiatives.
They also can be great advocates and helpful in recognizing what your company is doing for the business community. The way in which you approach doing business with your vendors, your customers, and your colleagues can say volumes in the reputation of your company. It is the reason many companies do business with one another. Conversely, it can be an excuse for why others choose not to engage with you.
At a recent Worldwide ERC’s® Global Workforce Symposium, held in Chicago, Altair Global, a relocation company that relies on vendor partners to fulfill their client’s needs. The company hosted its fifth annual, invitation-only awards ceremony recognizing Murphy’s Corporate Housing Associates as the winner of the All-Star Award for Corporate Housing Services. The award was presented for achieving the highest results in the areas of overall performance, customer service, timeliness of delivery, quality of performance, responsiveness, commitment to the customer experience, and utilization of innovative solutions.
MCHA has received another prestigious award, this one from the Houston Business Journal. This is the 5th consecutive year that MCHA received one of the Best Places To Work awards, which is recognition from its employees, with the company coming in at #24 with a 95.44% satisfaction rate.
We have truly been embracing the benefits of a volunteer and community outreach program, which is being recognized in the industry and the world beyond. We are grateful for the positive impact our work has made on our reputation, business model and future of our workforce. It feels good to help others in underserved parts of the world, whether it is around the corner or across the globe.