26 Aug Why A Leader’s Community Engagement is Important
In today’s dynamic business landscape, leaders are challenged with balancing an abundance of activities and critical success factors. Whether leading a team of employees, managing the company’s financial health or overseeing the organization’s branding or marketing activities, leadership requires the ability for one to keep an infinite number of plates spinning at one time.
As the “busyness” of business takes over and time becomes scarce, a leader may fall into the trap of focusing time only on those activities that drive revenue. One aspect that often takes a back seat when juggling where to dedicate time is an organization’s community outreach. While the ROI of a corporation’s social responsibility can be more complex to calculate, the benefits of a consistent, focused strategy are measurable and long-lasting. Here are a few benefits that we have discovered from supporting a variety of community organizations and initiatives:
Discover what matters to stakeholders
Join a local community board and you will notice other business leaders, like yourself, at the table. Each member has become engaged for a variety of reasons, both to offer the support of themselves and their organizations. Listen to the reasons why each member is supporting this organization or cause – what is important to them & the companies they represent? Understanding the objectives of their investments in time & financial support will help uncover specific factors that may be impacting your local market. This data offers new factors on which to reflect and measure how your own company’s products and services meet the ever-changing needs of your market.
Build mutually-beneficial relationships
By becoming involved in your community, you will have an opportunity to make new connections with others. Through the camaraderie developed while working on committees, planning and executing events, and fundraising for an important cause, you will come to know your fellow business leaders on a personal level. Building relationships with your fellow leaders not only builds your own personal network, it also expands your professional network of contacts and resources (your “go-to” network) for when you have questions or are faced with challenges in your own business.
Expand brand exposure, business development & talent recruitment activities
Those who are fully invested in their communities and local organizations tend to be decision makers. They are proven, effective leaders who have track records of driving results in their respective companies. This allows one to develop long-lasting, meaningful relationships with potential customers. Additionally, there is no better way to help your company build a brand that is strong, socially responsible and well-respected than to support community efforts and events through volunteering or sponsorship. An opportunity to share your company’s logo, latest product advancement or your company’s culture as an employer of choice carries a wide-range of benefits that outlast the specific event dates. Promoting your company as one that is sincerely engaged in a cause or your community also presents your organization as a leading employer. A recent Deloitte study suggests that employees who frequently volunteer are more likely to recommend their employer to a friend who is seeking their next opportunity.
Become a part of something bigger than yourself (or your company)
Great leaders help their employees find fulfillment and satisfaction in their work. Often, though, the leader may forget to focus on his/her own fulfillment. As leaders, we must make it priority to align our daily activities in such a way that supports what motivates us as individuals, so that our work fosters meaning & service to others. By finding a cause or community initiative that you can truly get behind, you will discover the joy and fulfillment of leadership at a new level.
There are many benefits to serving and investing in one’s community – these benefits are measurable for the business and immeasurable for the individual. At Accuro, we have found that balancing corporate objectives with the personal passions of our team allows for a wide variety of involvement in our community. In the end, we understand that this makes for a well-rounded company and, more importantly, a strong team of fulfilled, inspired people.