In my last post, I shared some of the benefits of offering volunteer opportunities in conjunction with your company’s employee recognition program. I mentioned that I sent out a company-wide survey to learn what volunteerism meant to my co-workers as well as what activities they were currently engaged in. The following are some of the responses I received.
First to my door with a response was Joan Herman our Client Services Specialist. I always knew that Joan had a green thumb (and a knack for making the most delicious banana nut muffins) but what I didn’t know was how she leveraged her talents to give back to our community. Joan works with Plants 4 Habitat, which grows landscaping for area Habitat for Humanity homes as well as the Victory Garden in Collierville, Tennessee. The Victory Garden provides fresh product to local food banks – last year alone 4,430 lbs. of produce was produced and donated by the group.
Mike Sullivan, QIC’s Director of Sales National Accounts, currently volunteers at the Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta. The mission of the Center for the Visually Impaired is “to empower people impacted by vision loss to live with independence and dignity.” Mike also sits on the Enterprise Task Force for ClearAnswer, whose function is finding employment for sight impaired professionals in call centers or handling overflow for existing call centers.
Kay Brawner, QIC’s Accounts Payable Manager, had a wonderful response to my question “What does volunteerism mean and/or look like to you?” Kay replied with “Volunteering can be a non-spoken commitment to do something for others who are going through traumatic circumstances.” She works to “make their lives a little brighter by knowing that someone cares enough to do something for them in their time of need.” Kay has taken this philosophy to heart and works with Project Linus to make blankets for children who are seriously ill, traumatized or in need.
Rob Miklas, Executive Vice President – Strategies & Business Development, believes that “volunteerism doesn’t necessarily involve a grand gesture.” He continues by stating “I think that it’s important to look for ways to assist even small organizations or causes.” Rob shared with me that while working with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity sometimes the jobs that needed volunteers the most were for the little things (for example picking up trash from the worksite).
Doug Smith, Director of Sales Southeast, has always been actively involved with his community no matter his location. Locally, he has served on several commissions for the City of Germantown. He found himself most passionate about the Beautification Commission as they were able to make a significant impact on the look and feel of the community. Some of the initiatives his commissions spearheaded included Christmas decorations around the city and the Yard of the Month recognition contests.
I learned so much through this exercise. We are passionate about what we do at QIC, but it was rewarding to experience the enthusiasm expressed by my co-workers as they described their community service interests. I challenge you to share your favorite volunteer organization below – and to ask your employees and co-workers about their community involvement. And contact us to explore ways to incorporate service projects into your employee recognition program.