It’s no coincidence that so many successful business leaders and coaches recommend “giving back” by supporting good causes with donations and voluntary work.
Sir Richard Branson couldn’t have put it better when he said, “We must learn that doing good is good for business.”
Special things happen when a group of workmates comes together for a good cause. It tends to bring out the best in us; people see us in a different light when we’re working for a shared goal that’s bigger than the next pay cheque or promotion.
Volunteering together strengthens team bonds, too. Better still, people on the outside get to see your team’s best side – that means people from the community at large, including potential partners, employees, clients, and new fiends, all brought together with a shared interest – or at least applauding your efforts.
The benefits don’t stop there either. A survey carried out in 2011 by LeapCR, a social software organisation, found that 75% of staff wanted their employers to balance social responsibility strategies with commercial success. Another survey, conducted across 10 of the world’s highest earning countries, found that a massive 93% of consumers said they’d prefer to choose products associated with a good cause.
Environmental and sustainability related causes are particularly good ones to support. Many scientists believe that loss of biodiversity and habitat is the single biggest threat facing mankind and the entire planet.
Most organisations can make a surprisingly big difference to the environment through better working practises. So even the occasional sponsorship drive, or a few hours donated for an environmental cause can rub off in a big way on workplace culture.
Volunteers and sponsors get to feel invested in the outcome they’re supporting. And as a byproduct – workmates can find themselves carrying the torch for the environment long after a volunteering event ends. That can often mean collaborating and caring about connected issues at work, such as:
- Saving energy and emissions;
- Reducing consumption and waste of materials, food etc;
- Supporting environmentally friendly suppliers;
- Respecting and caring for neighbouring wildlife habitat;
- Pursuing carbon neutral certification.
Aside from direct economic benefits having staff involved in these issues is good for morale, employee and customer satisfaction. And as the survey we mentioned tells us, customers will be more likely to choose your products.
There’s no shortage of environmental causes that need your time and money. If you’re stuck for ideas check out our monthly calendars of sustainability events in Australia. You just need to pick one and have a go. Chances are you’ll find it rewarding and addictive.