Does Community Involvement Matter for Workforce Development?

Yes, community involvement is a vital part of workforce development.

Have you heard the term “culture trumps strategy”? While people want to make money and have a nice benefits package, they also want to feel like they are a ‘part of the team’ or ‘part of the family’. Everyone wants to feel important and feel like they are making a real contribution. Planned, strategic community involvement is one of the most inexpensive ways to elevate a company’s reputation in the community, attract future employees and retain current employees.

Showing that your company cares about your community and, better yet, involving your employees in those acts of caring, has some great benefits, including:

  1. Helping your workers feel like they are an important part of an influential force in their community
  2. Engendering a feeling of pride that their employer is important to the health of their hometown
  3. Drawing attention from future potential employees to your company who want to work for a company who has a management that cares

However, there must be some strategy behind your community involvement. Companies are hit up for donations and sponsorships all year long. You have to be careful not to give away the farm or allow community involvement to eat up too much valuable production time.

Check out these 5 tips to start getting involved today.

  • Employee Volunteers: Ask for employee volunteers to be part of a “contributions committee” to vet donation requests and give management/ownership recommendations. This will help employees feel they have been a part of the decision.
  • Make it Personal: Try to donate to personal employee causes: a softball team an employee plays on, an employee’s kid’s soccer team, a sponsorship for an organization that has helped an employee’s family, etc.
  • Less Equals More: Don’t spread yourself too thin that your donations aren’t noticed or as valuable. Pick one signature event where you can stand out and try to be consistent with that organization for 3-5 years. Be a leading sponsor and get your name/logo on t-shirts and banners.
  • Look for Unique Opportunities. Does your company have an empty spot of ground you could build a simple playground for the community? Is there a new event in town you can step up and secure a title sponsorship for a small investment? See if you can lock that in for a few years.
  • Get Involved! Don’t just give money. If possible, allow employees to serve on committees or volunteer at the event. One easy and inexpensive thing to do is to host event meetings at your facility. That gets people in your doors and all you need to have is some sort of conference room and some coffee.

People want to be proud of where they work. When out and about, they want to see their employer’s logo on the baseball field fence or on a banner hanging over Main Street. If their employer is important to the community, the employees feel they are equally important to the community because where would that company be if not for them!

For more ideas on simple community and workforce development, contact Measured Intentions today!

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