By Victoria Richardson
‘Tis the season to make a difference! The holidays are filled with chances to give back, and finding volunteer opportunities for you and your team is a win-win. Not only will it help your company build ties in your community, it will also help show your customers that you appreciate and care about them. Plus, getting involved in volunteer programs is a great way to get your company’s name out there in a positive light. So what are you waiting for? Here are some easy ways your team can give back this holiday season.
Give back without leaving the office.
Hosting an event is a great way to spread the message about a cause your team feels is important. Plus, it draws people to your business and could even help bring in potential leads. Since the weather is getting chilly, try hosting a blanket drive in your workplace by having people bring in blankets to give to local families in need. Incentivize your employees to participate by letting them enter their name in a raffle for a holiday prize for each blanket they donate.
Another great way to foster relationships not only between your employees and the community, but also among your employees, is to divide the office up into teams (either by departments or totally randomized) and designate an adopted family to each group. (The Salvation Army is a great resource for this.) Have them decide among themselves how best to address the family’s holiday wish list. It will give them the chance to work together toward a common, heartfelt goal.
Or designate some time to get out there!
Lennox dealers in Wisconsin team up multiple times a year to install HVAC systems for those in need. They accept nominations from the community via their website (www.heatupwisconsin.com) and give their time and materials to install much-needed heating and cooling equipment donated by Lennox Industries. Since Heat U.P. Wisconsin began in 2010, participating Lennox dealers have installed hundreds of free high-efficiency furnaces, providing more than $1.3 million in support. I was fortunate enough to meet and talk with dealers who participate in the program the day before they gathered together to do this awesome work, and the joy, pride, and emotion they felt about donating their time to their community was nothing short of inspirational. If you like this idea, team up with other contractors in your area and make a difference in your community.
Whatever you choose, set a date on the calendar and be sure to remind your employees that it’s coming up. Having positive things to look forward to during the busy holiday season is a great way to break up the hectic workdays and keep your team motivated.
To maximize your impact, be sure to tap into what your community needs this holiday season. Before you plan any events, contact your local volunteerism board or go online to find out what areas or organizations in your community are seeking help. Who knows — maybe you and your employees will find a meaningful cause that you will devote time to year after year, around the holidays and beyond.
Victoria Richardson is the Sales and Marketing Manager for HVAC Learning Solutions.