5 Ways Community Involvement Benefits a Business
In the era of corporate social responsibility, an emphasis on community involvement goes a long way. It allows a business to demonstrate its company values and reflect an attitude of reciprocity to a community. Long gone are the days when a company could roll into town, advertise, then sit back and enjoy the benefits. Community involvement is one way that companies can earn their customers by showing that they care.
However, community involvement isn’t just about being active in the community for its own sake. There exist several benefits which directly – and significantly – impact a business in positive ways. Here are five of those major benefits which show why community involvement is good for business as well as the community.
1. Community Networking and Collaboration
Community involvement brings businesses into contact with other local businesses. While some will exist within the same industry, many others will offer complementary products or services. Reaching out and working with such organizations helps support a local economy.
Ever walk into a store needing to buy something, only to discover that store was out – but, helpfully, the salesclerk knew another business down the street carried the item? A thoughtfully offered recommendation to another business reflects an interest in making sure that customer has the right item, not something which could be sold to them but doesn’t quite meet their needs.
2. Volunteering Increases Employee Morale
It might be counter-intuitive but asking employees to volunteer their time in the community – and rewarding them for doing so – actually has a positive impact on employee engagement. Just a few years ago, UnitedHealthcare found that volunteering helped 71 percent of surveyed employees feel better about their company. These employees reported a higher degree of job satisfaction and displayed greater levels of engagement at work after volunteering.
For local businesses, volunteering is particularly powerful because employees tend to live and work in the same community. They’re therefore more invested in the issues occurring there. By taking an interest in these issues and rewarding employees for getting involved, a business sends a strong message about its commitment to caring about the things which are important to its employees.
3. Attract and Keep Local Talent
Community involvement is a great way to attract and keep local talent. It increases visibility for a company in an area while sending a message that this company is serious about doing good in the world. It works. Creative, high-performing individuals want to be associated with organizations which operate big-picture style, and which seem to take on causes larger than simply turning a profit. In other words, community involvement is one way that companies indicate that they’re not just in it for the money but for the greater good.
Likewise, community involvement is becoming increasingly critical to attracting potential employees at all. An organization’s commitment to social issues is a deciding factor for 64 percent of millennials when choosing to even apply for a job.
4. Gain an Edge Over Big Corporations
As any small business knows, it is exceedingly difficult to compete with organizations which have vastly more time, customers, and resources at their disposal. However, community involvement represents a major advantage which small and local businesses have over national competitors.
Such businesses naturally have closer ties to a town or region because it is more likely that their employees live and work in the same area. Therefore, involvement in that community is more natural and genuine, because the business naturally has a vested interest in the wellbeing of the community. A very large corporation might be able to address larger issues, but a smaller business will have more on-the-ground awareness of things happening on a very local level.
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5. Build Brand Awareness
At its core, community involvement creates critical brand awareness for a company while establishing a positive reputation. As noted, consumers are taking an increasingly greater interest in what companies are doing beyond simply turning a profit. These activities have the potential to make or break consumer trust, something which has become critical in today’s economy.
In 2019, there is such a thing as bad publicity. Businesses should embrace the visibility which comes with community involvement to help build brand awareness in the right ways. In addition, custom neon signs are also a cost-effective way to build brand awareness within your community.
Smile at Community Involvement
Community involvement brings many great benefits to companies, particularly small businesses. It’s the era of corporate responsibility, and consumers want to see that companies are committed to more than simply themselves. Community involvement tells consumers, employees, and the wider society that a company is serious about being the change it wishes to see.
Smile engages in community outreach to help bring the latest technology into classrooms. Contact us today to learn more.