Moving Forward through Giving Back
Earlier this month, our friends at NetVU participated in a group volunteer activity to support those in the Dallas, Texas, area. Sixteen NetVU team members joined the amazing volunteers at Metrocrest Services to transform Metrocrest’s food pantry into a holiday shop, where 1,100 families in need will come to obtain clothing, food and toys for their families during the holiday season.
The NetVU team sorted through toys and put them into appropriate categories, moving pallets and bikes, making signs, and ultimately creating organized aisles for the shopping event. While the actual labor of the day was productive and worthwhile, it was a great reminder that these activities have a positive impact on an organization’s culture, and therefore its brand, since culture and brand are so intertwined.
Since NetVU management and staff work with a tremendous group of volunteers in its users group, the power of giving back is not lost on this group. In fact, the organization celebrates group volunteering every year in its “Day of Caring” activity held in conjunction with its annual conference.
Benefits of Group Volunteering
As you embark upon 2017, consider the upsides that volunteering as a group can have on your firm:
- Doing good feels pretty darn good! Particularly when times get hectic, like around the holidays, giving back to the community to help those less fortunate is an irreplaceable “upper.” Studies have long shown the positive impact of volunteering on one’s mental health, but there is actually proof of the benefits on one’s physical health too. In fact, a study from Carnegie Mellon showed that adults 50 and older who volunteer on a regular basis are less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who do not volunteer. When putting together your firm’s employee wellness plan, consider giving back to the community as one of its pillars.
- Watch the silos melt away. There is no hierarchy when volunteering together. The CEO is no more familiar with the activity than the brand new employee or part-time consultant. Sure, some may naturally take on leading small groups of volunteers with various activities, but generally, volunteering together enhances connectivity and builds a strong rapport among the team. If your firm suffers from a “silo” mentality, consider ongoing group volunteer activities as an effective method to build a stronger team spirit.
- Cut down on “first world problems.” Starting to hear that the company-provided coffee is too strong, or the employee parking lot is too far away? Giving back to those less fortunate tends to put things in perspective. In October 2016 alone, 2,364 individuals (894 families) in the Dallas area turned to Metrocrest Services for basic pantry essentials — things that many of us take for granted every day.
Giving back tends to be contagious. In the last year or so, my own volunteer activities have been limited to giving blood on occasion. In the few days since returning home from the NetVU volunteer experience, I have already identified similar activities that I will participate in with my family. Kudos to NetVU’s management for realizing all the good that can happen when we come together and give back.
How are you giving back in 2017?