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April 7, 2009 / jasonpinto

But they paid you, right?

The community. I am not exactly sure what that word will mean 5 years from now. There are new forms of communities popping up all over the place now-a-days. With “everyone” finally getting online, there are new ways to chat, new ways to find information, and new ways to develop friends. There are plenty of invitations available if you’d like to become part of a “community” somewhere.

When I take a look outside, or drive around the town where my office is located, I am reminded of what the word community has referred to for a long time. I’m reminded of the people that live and work near us…. of the local schools that are grooming our future workmates (and in some cases, bosses.) I think of the people that are there to protect us, and to make sure that our town or city is a great place to live and work in (As well as for our customers and prospects to visit!).

Well, when it comes to your company, have you shown any love to your community lately?

“Doing something for the community” might mean this – you have to give up your time, and you have to give up a bit of money. This is not always an easy thing for people to agree to. We are all certainly busy trying to promote our products or services. We are trying to raise the income that our company is bringing in.

Or, maybe management sees the value in offering a service for free to a local organization, but the workers do not exactly agree. To them, it is something delays them from accomplishing their “work” to-dos.

Well, despite these obstacles, I think it’s very important to take time to give back. And you know what – it doesn’t have to be that hard. There are ways that you can use your skills and core competencies to quickly provide something that another group will greatly value (even if they do get it for free).

  • Maybe your organization builds websites… Reach out to the local police or fire departments, or chamber of commerce… There are plenty of organizations that either need a website, or need help with the website they’ve already launched.
  • Perhaps you are a software company – I guarantee there is an IT department in a school somewhere that would love to start tracking their help desk requests in an online system, rather than having to manually track them in an Excel file.
  • Or maybe you’re a landscaping company – could you volunteer a bit of time to help deliver a “special” cleaning to a local park?

On the other hand, sometimes doing something outside of your company’s skill-set can be more beneficial to your employees. A group of techies participating in a 3 mile run for charity? Or volunteering at a local soup kitchen? Yes, while these things take time and energy, they can help build the morale and “team” skills of your employees. More importantly, supporting great causes delivers a sense of internal satisfaction. Or, more simply put – helping people results in satisfaction.

Well, while it’s not always the first thing on our minds while commuting to and from work, make sure to look around a bit more over the next few days. There’s someone in your community that could use a hand. Will your company be there to assist them?

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