The opinions expressed by the entrepreneurs are their own.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs often have a long to-do list, and while there are seemingly few hours in the day, making time for community engagement should be a priority.
The power to make a positive impact through community engagement brings benefits to businesses, customers, employees and the community.
Here are some compelling benefits that accrue from business community engagement.
1. Creates a positive workplace culture
Embedding 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 from 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 engagement also improves company culture by helping to build strong teams. Research on volunteering found that 92% of employees believe volunteering develops their people and teamwork skills through work, and 77% believe it strengthens relationships.
In short, giving back to the community increases engagement in the organization, which creates a positive workplace culture.
Related to: 5 easy ways to make philanthropy part of your company culture
2. Develops customer trust
Loyal and consistent care and involvement in the community builds the trust necessary to build 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 are more connected to that company. The positive perception created by giving back to the community increases customer trust, making it easier for consumers to support businesses that are involved in the community rather than 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 engagement as a powerful recruiting tool. More than 80% of companies surveyed indicated that community involvement helps improve employee recruitment and reduce turnover.
There’s no doubt that community engagement helps companies attract and retain millennial and Gen Z employees, who now make up nearly half (46%) of the full-time US workforce. give back to the community.
Related to: How growing businesses can prioritize community engagement
4. It helps the community thrive
Thriving communities are hubs of thriving businesses. Giving back to the community helps grow a community that’s great for those who live there and just as great for the businesses there.
It creates a kind of symbiotic relationship that benefits everyone. By investing time and money in the community, businesses can help solve community problems and needs and stimulate economic growth.
5. Easy to return
There are many ways for business owners and entrepreneurs to give back to their communities. It’s easy to get involved in the community by volunteering and encouraging employees to volunteer, sponsoring a sports team, organizing food drives, funding a scholarship, and partnering with a nonprofit organization.
A great way to identify community engagement projects is to ask employees and customers about community needs and how the company can make the most impact by donating time, resources, or money (or all of the above) to help.
Related to: Compensation power. How community engagement can boost your bottom line
6. Giving back is a good thing
Entrepreneurs realize that giving back to the community is good business.
A survey examining the philosophies, attitudes and activities of entrepreneurs in relation to their communities found that 91%; 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 interviewed indicated that their motivations for community involvement centered around personal values and passion.
The bottom line is that community involvement is the right thing to do. Business owners and entrepreneurs must lead by example by demonstrating passion and commitment to the well-being of the communities they serve. Amazing benefits will come from there.