Why You Should Encourage Your Associates to Show Up For Your Community
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Consumers care about who they do business with and what they stand for. Entrepreneurs and small business owners who get involved in their communities see benefits beyond the rewarding feeling of doing something good for others.
Here’s why your small business should be showing up for your community in some form, whether that means by financial donation or on-site volunteer efforts.
Positive Impact on Communities
First and foremost, helping others is just the right thing to do. Your support not only helps the intended individuals, groups or organizations but also has a positive impact on the community as a whole.
Some people strongly believe giving back is a responsibility that every company, large and small, should take seriously.
“As an entrepreneur with a successful business, it’s your responsibility to support the local community whenever you can,” says Stephanie Wells, founder of Formidable Forms.
“Your company didn’t reach success without the help of its loyal customers, and your city won’t thrive without the help of its community,” she writes in a Forbes Council post.
One of the best ways to support your community is to help out other businesses in the area, says entrepreneur and investor John Rampton.
“Buy local as often as possible and set aside an area of your website to link to your favorite local companies,” writes Rampton, founder of online payment company Due, in an Inc. article.
Mark Pentecost, founder and CEO of beauty and nutrition company It Works!, sees giving back as an opportunity to be part of positive change everywhere.
“It can be as simple as one dollar, one item, one life, and one cause at a time,” he writes in a Business Journals article. “You simply have to take the time and commit your company to making a difference and decide to make a change,”
Boosts Brand Awareness
When you and/or employees become involved in the community, whether that’s through donations, events, or volunteerism, more people will be exposed to your business, increasing awareness and name recognition.
“The most obvious reason why community involvement should be a priority in your list of business To-Dos is that it puts a human face to your business and brings it out there, where it is most visible to consumers,” says a post by the Atlanta Small Business Network (ASBN).
While brand awareness is vital for all businesses, it can be particularly important for newer businesses or startups. “After all, if people don’t know about your business, they probably won’t buy from it, " says a post by Fora Financial, which specializes in small business loans.
Customers tend to buy from companies they trust, and often trust is linked to how they see you as it relates to mission and values.
Helping those in need and getting out in your community shows care about more than making money.
“If they meet your employees at volunteer events or read about your philanthropic efforts on the internet, they’ll likely trust you,” says the Fora Financial blog. “Once you establish trust, your chances of growing your business becomes very high. People have the motivation to turn to your brand instead of a competitor.”
Good for Employee Morale
When a business shows that helping others or being involved in the community is important, employees tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, which can increase team retention.
“Studies have shown employees are more likely to display higher satisfaction rates with their jobs if they know that they are working for a socially responsible enterprise,” according to the ASBN article.
There are several ways to do this, such as making a consistent business donation to a community charity or giving financial support for a community event. To get associates involved, you can organize a donation drive or employee volunteer day .
It’s all about showing associates that giving back to the community is a priority to you. Creating a culture that encourages volunteerism and community causes helps associates feel like they are part of something meaningful.
Sparklight’s James Johnson says he appreciates a work environment that encourages supporting each other and the community. Sparklight, part of the Cable One family of brands, empowers associates to engage in causes they are passionate about by volunteering their time and talents with local community organizations. Many members of the Sparklight family note this as a draw to the organization.
The company has an “Angel Day” program that provides each associate with one paid day off per year to volunteer at a local nonprofit organization. This program helps ensure that associates are dedicated to and have a personal stake in making a difference in the communities where they live and work.
“Everyone is always willing to help regardless of their role in the company,” explains Johnson, who supports Sparklight and Cable One family of brand’s Field Operations Leadership in process improvement and integration.
“We are truly stronger together.”
Johnson volunteers with his fellow co-workers and in the community as a board member for the local Boys and Girls Club on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
“Being able to support the youth in our community shows we care about the communities we work in,” he adds.
Not only is it part of an organization's social responsibility to give back, but it also has various benefits for both the community and your business. Sparklight encourages you to join us in empowering your team to give back to causes they are passionate about. Implement philanthropy into your core values and let us know what positive impacts it makes! We can't wait to see the good you do.