The founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, writes, “Business leaders must remember that a healthy profit means that a community supports and appreciates the products and services a business offers, and also how that business is managed.”
Making a difference in people’s lives and making profit for the company are not mutually exclusive. Customers want to know that companies are making the world a better place and that they are supporting a good cause.
Giving back to the community has intangible and tangible benefits. Intangible benefits include getting that pleasant feeling of connectivity and satisfaction of doing your part in healing the world. On the other hand, tangible benefits encompass potentially raising your business’ profile and in turn, bringing you more customers or clients through the publicity.
Social Preference: Build relationships within your community
Look at your community to see what is important. Make genuine connections with your customers, and find ways you can contribute. Speak to non-profit organisations; do they need help with self-awareness and team building? Or do they just need an extra pair of hands to help with an activity they are holding next month?
Conceptual Preference: Create a custom volunteer plan for your employees/team
Let the ideas flow freely on how your team would like to give back to the community. One person may like to run a pro-bono workshop for a non-profit organisation on team cohesiveness, another may prefer to work behind the scenes and give the establishment a new look with a fresh coat of paint.
Structural Preference: Let the customers know how you are giving back
Give your customers the details of how you are giving back to the community. Break down the information into segments so that it is clear what you are doing and how this is benefitting the organisation.
Analytical Preference: Show the world the results of giving back
Get to the point when you are showcasing the results of giving back to the community. An example would be to put the dollar amount of how much your donated time or services would normally cost next to the number of hours your team spent giving back so it’s easy for customers to understand how much your company gives to the community.
Flexibility, Expressiveness, and Assertiveness Preferences: Behind the scenes versus workshop facilitation
Depending on how you or your team prefer to express and assert yourselves, and whether or not you welcome change as opposed to being firm and focused, it would be great to give back in a way that you are comfortable with. This could mean that you could be the one working tirelessly behind the scenes to clear up the premises, or the one setting up the place for an upcoming workshop, or the one actually running the workshop and building up the energy level in the room. This way, you are happier doing it, and organisation benefits as well.
Give what you can to the non-profit organisations that make a difference to your community, you may be surprised at the benefits you reap! When it comes to giving back, everybody wins.