• Khawar Khokhar

How Useful Is Employee Community Service Work When It Comes To Business?


Being a service provider during a global pandemic has had many challenges including an ever tighter focus for many on bottom lines. This tighter focus may have been due to supply chain shortages, labor shortages, and/or rising costs due to inflation. Many have had to re-evaluate how to manage employee time and priorities, sometimes cutting time employees spent doing non-job related activities such as community service work.


Even before the global pandemic employee time spent volunteering and working in the community was a contentious topic. Is it the best use of time for an employer to spend money having their employees volunteer at other organizations? Supporters of this volunteer work claim it can build employee loyalty and casts businesses in a good light. Detractors claim it doesn’t build employee loyalty and doesn’t create any noticeable return on investment. This debate is very much ongoing and there always seems to be a new article on why this type of work is or isn’t good for a business.


Instead of adding to that good vs. bad debate, we wanted to focus on the usefulness of employee community service work. That is, is it useful for your business as well as for the organization you’re trying to help.


Over the past few years, SAKS Health has been part of various community service initiatives. Our largest Community Service Event is partnering with the Boston Children’s Hospital. Every June Boston Children’s Hospital holds a walk to raise money. SAKS Health creates a walking team and we reach out to our network to raise funds. This community service event is extremely useful for the following reasons:

  • Boston Children’s Hospital’s mission is improving and advancing the health and well-being of children around the world, which pairs perfectly with our mission of Better Healthcare Tomorrow

  • Our team is passionate about innovation in the healthcare space so finding creative ways to fundraise for BCH aligns well with what we do

  • Our team is active in their communities already, our involvement as a company allows for personal and professional to merge, creating an environment our team wants to be involved in

  • Since the pandemic, these walks have all been virtual which is a great format for our completely remote team that is scattered around the globe

  • We’re able to use our network and connections made on our business side to help promote a cause that ties in with our own. Doing so allows our clients to learn about BCH and potentially support a good cause


Supporting organizations in healthcare is only one aspect of our community work. SAKS Health has also spent time supporting our local businesses. Last year and into Q1 of this year we did pro bono work for the FalRooney sports camp in Montgomery, NJ. This community service activity was energizing and useful for many reasons, and to call out a few:

  • We supported a local organization dedicated to the health of children by being a physical activity sports camp

  • Team members were able to use their skills from content creation, copywriting, and design, to further FalRooney’s website goals

  • This activity made visible change. We were able to set clear goals to help the local organization and follow through on those in attempts to boost their exposure


Creating useful community service experiences can be challenging. It can be challenging to find organizations and events that align with your business. And, it can be hard for remote teams to come to in person activities. It can even be difficult to find community service work that creates noticeable impact. But, when you are able to find community service work that aligns with what your business does, is compatible with your team’s location and interests, and that community service work actually benefits others, that is the sweet spot. Not all companies can do this for a myriad of reasons, but we’re here to let you know it can be done and be useful to both your team and the organization you’re helping.

 

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