The spirit of the holiday season and the closing of the year often spur people to be more generous. And while it’s important to give throughout the year if you are able, here are five reasons companies will benefit from getting into the giving spirit during the holiday season:
1. It will improve company culture
Contribute to a worthwhile charity at the holidays where employees feel better about themselves and strongly support the organization they work for. This demonstrates to staff that the organization has a moral conscience and cares about more than turning a profit. Getting away from the office or working on a project that is drastically different allows people at work to come, see, and experience each other in a new and different light. Kerry Alison Wekelo, managing director at Actualize Consulting and author of the book Culture Infusion, says, “When your people take part in activates for a social cause, they get to know their coworkers and hone their teamwork skills while giving back to their communities and other organizations that have a positive impact on our world. At the same time, your company’s overall culture is enhanced, especially when these activities are also aligned to individual, team, and corporate goals.”
2. It will help your company makes stronger connections in the community
An organization accomplishing goals in this manner will be seen as a group who cares about their community and sees their responsibility to give back. There is the opportunity to meet and make valuable connections outside the company that can benefit this group or the individuals within it. Seeing that their organization is leading by example, employees are likely to feel more connected with those in their immediate workplace, as well as those at work that are outside of their normal work environment. Volunteering during work hours can bring together upper management with front-line workers and other groups that rarely communicate and have the chance to work with each other. Sharing a joint experience as equals toward a worthy cause and belief is a great way for various levels in an organization to get to know and appreciate one another outside of the formal constrictions imposed in the workplace structure.
3. It offers the opportunity to learn new skills and form new perspectives
Getting out of the office and working with fellow employees and management gives everyone a chance to try on new skills and learn in a relaxed, non-stressful environment. There may be opportunities to work with others who have different and divergent skill sets and to interact with people from different departments. There may be opportunities to get to know people from broader varieties of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds than at work, giving staff a wider scope and more diverse perspective to expand their overall knowledge.
4. It will increase empathy and gratitude
Reaching out to people in different circumstances increases our empathy for others. We recognize and feel grateful for what we do have. While sometimes we do not appreciate our job and complain about it, we may feel a sense of gratitude and realize that we are fortunate to have the work, realizing that there are many who don’t have the same opportunities as we do and would love to trade places with us. This awareness may cause us to rethink our relationships in and outside of the workplace. It could lead to more appreciation and to us focusing more on the positives of the workplace rather than constantly looking for what is wrong or lacking.
5. It adds energy to your team and breaks up routine
There is a saying that “A change is better than a rest.” Most workplaces can get caught up in the same routines. The longer that practice becomes the norm, the more comfortable it becomes and the more difficult it is to break out of the rut. To do something totally outside of the usual, like helping a charity, breaks the chains of routine and allows people to release their normal restriction, be themselves, have fun, feel renewed energy, and gain a sense of purpose. This is a great way to revitalize an organization while contributing to a worthwhile cause.