As I write this, my husband is in Rwanda working with Zoe Ministry, a program that empowers orphans to overcome extreme poverty. This journey has been eye-opening and life-changing for Hubert, and even though I am not with him, it has also given me the opportunity to reflect.
Volunteerism and giving back to the community is an integral part of our family values. We are trying to raise our children to be good citizens of the world. We teach them the importance of serving others whether through large acts, like a mission trip, or small acts, like helping a neighbor.
The value of giving back is also evident in our business. Propel HR is a family-owned business, and even as we’ve grown, we’ve continued to hold on to our core family values. Propel HR invests in local and regional nonprofit organizations, sponsoring many charity events and donating to many causes, but “giving back” is not just about giving money. Time donated in service is just as important as money and often it’s even more rewarding for the volunteer.
Beyond the value of volunteering to both the community and volunteer, there is also real value for businesses to promote a culture of giving back.
- Employees who volunteer in the community enhance their job skills and gain different experiences that will prove valuable in the workplace. For example, an accounting professional who teaches in a local school improves his presentation skills.
- Companies that engage in group charitable projects improve teamwork and increase morale. Just think of the corporate teams who participate in charity walks and cheer each other on as they cross the finish line.
- When businesses promote a volunteer culture, employees feel more loyal and proud of their employer. The 2011 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT survey found that millennials who frequently participate in workplace volunteer programs are twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as positive.
- Your employees will feel less stress. According to UnitedHealth Group, Doing Good is Good for You: 2013 Health and Volunteering Study, employees who volunteer are less stressed and healthier.
As businesses, success is not determined solely by our bottom lines or even the quality of our work, but also by how we contribute to our community. It has been said that, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
As business leaders, we all have an obligation to give back. It’s not about recognition or accolades. We give because we have been fortunate and we feel a sense of duty to help others. And in the end, our goal is to make a life, not just a living.