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Small business owners and entrepreneurs often have a long list of things to get accomplished, and while there are seemingly not enough hours in a day, making time for community involvement should be a priority.
The power to make a positive impact through community involvement translates to benefits for the business, customers, employees and the community.
Here are some of the impactful benefits which accrue from business community involvement.
1. Creates a positive workplace culture
Ingraining community involvement in company culture creates a happier workplace. Prioritizing volunteerism and social responsibility has a positive impact on employees, improving their morale and increasing job satisfaction. According to research by Boston College, “employees with favorable perceptions of their organization’s corporate citizenship tend to experience higher levels of self-efficacy, hope and optimism about work.”
Community involvement also improves company culture by helping to build strong teams. A study on volunteerism found that 92% of employees believe volunteer activities through work develop their people and teamwork skills, and 77% believe they strengthen relationships.
In short, giving back to the community increases engagement in an organization, which creates a positive workplace culture.
2. Cultivates customer trust
Authentically and consistently showing care for and involvement in the community builds the trust necessary for creating a loyal customer base.
Customers trust businesses that care about the community they serve.
When consumers believe that a business is truly invested in the community, they become more connected to that company. The positive perception fostered by giving back to the community increases customer trust, making it easy for consumers to support a business that is involved in the community over one that is not.
3. Attracts and retains talent
Employees today want to work for a company that gives back to the community. In fact, one survey points to community involvement as a powerful recruiting tool. More than 80% of company respondents in the survey reported that community involvement helps improve the ability to recruit employees and reduce turnover.
There is no question that community involvement helps companies attract and retain millennial and Gen Z employees who now make up nearly half (46%) of the full-time workforce in the U.S. These generational cohorts want the companies they work for to lead the way in giving back to the community.
4. It helps the community thrive
Thriving communities are hubs for thriving businesses. Giving back to the community helps develop the community which is great for those living there and equally great for businesses located there.
It creates a kind of symbiotic relationship that is beneficial to everyone. By investing time and money in the community, businesses can help address community problems and needs and spur economic growth.
5. It’s easy to give back
There are many ways for business owners and entrepreneurs to give back to their communities. It’s easy to become involved in the community by volunteering and encouraging employees to volunteer themselves, sponsoring a sports team, organizing food drives, funding a scholarship and partnering with a nonprofit organization.
A great way to identify community involvement projects is to ask employees and customers about community needs and how the company can be most impactful in providing time, resources or money (or all of the above) to help.
6. Giving back is good business
Entrepreneurs recognize that giving back to the community is good business.
A survey examining the philosophies, attitudes and activities of entrepreneurs related to their communities found that 91% of entrepreneurs are currently engaging their communities outside of their business responsibilities, and 44% say their businesses have grown as a result of engaging their communities. The majority of entrepreneurs surveyed stated that their motivations to engage the community centered around personal values and passion.
The bottom line is that community involvement is the right thing to do. Business owners and entrepreneurs should lead by example, demonstrating a passion and commitment to the well-being of the communities they serve. Amazing benefits will accrue from there.