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The Importance Of Giving Back

The goals, needs and desires of the modern workforce is changing, and Millennials are the driving force behind that change. With prior generations, things were fairly easy and straightforward. Offer a good wage and a decent vacation and benefits policy, and you can keep them happy.

The young people entering the workforce today want more. They want to give something back, but that can feel like an impossible challenge to small business owners. If you’re at a loss for how to give these new, vibrant, energetic employees the opportunities they’re looking for, this piece will help make it easier.

Broadly speaking, there are two paths you can take. One of them is more hands-on, and as such, will probably be more appreciated, but both approaches can work. Let’s start by taking a closer look at the hands-on approach:

Here, the idea is to find outreach opportunities your employees could do on a voluntary basis that are in alignment with your company’s goals and values. This could be just about anything, and the opportunities don’t necessarily have to be directly relatable to your core business.

Think about it – most small businesses rely heavily on support from the local community they’re based in. Giving back to that community not only raises your profile locally, but it also enhances the value of your brand. As you become more visible in your community, you’ll invariably attract more interest and customers. That’s a win for you, and it’s a win for your employees too.

If you really want to put teeth into this program of giving back, and assuming you can afford to do it, you might even consider giving employees who want to volunteer to give back an extra day off a month, with the proviso that they use it for the purpose of volunteering.

The second approach is easier to do, but may be somewhat less gratifying to your employees. Simply put, it sees you casting about for local non-profit groups in need, and holding periodic fund-raisers to help them accomplish their goals.

Opportunities like these are not difficult to find. If you spend any time at all looking at the non-profit ecosystem in your city, town, or county, you’ll find two things: One, that there are more non-profits out there trying to change things for the better than you probably imagined, and two, that all of them are struggling. They just don’t have the resources to accomplish all the things they’d like to, and that provides you with plenty of opportunities.

Holding 2-4 fund raisers per year for these small, struggling groups will give your employees the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way, and you may discover that in addition to participating in the fund raisers, a not-inconsiderable percentage of your workforce will start volunteering, rolling up their sleeves in their off-hours to help these groups in more tangible and direct ways.

Whichever option you choose, you can be sure that if you have a high percentage of employees who are eager to give back and make a difference, you’ll see a notable impact, which will not only increase morale, but will also increase your employee retention rate.