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Why You Should Plan a Summer Community Service Event

It may seem counterintuitive when your team is already stretched thin, but taking a break from work duties to help others can inspire your employees.
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why you should plan a summer community service event

Feeling stressed and looking for a good excuse to get out of the office this summer? Here's one: Plan a community service event.

Let's count the benefits from such an event. First of all, it's fun. And during this tough business climate, injecting more joy and a sense of purpose into work is essential. It may seem counterintuitive when your team is already stretched thin, but taking a break from work duties to help others can inspire your employees. After all, service is at the core of the insurance industry. Volunteering together also builds team camaraderie, boosts job satisfaction and grows your agency's reputation—all while helping your community.

Employees value volunteerism. Ninety-five percent of Generation Z job seekers said it's important for their work to have meaning, and 62% said they are looking to join a company with values that match their own, according to a 2021 Zety survey. And they're not alone. Forty-two percent of all agents said they would like to spend more time giving back, according to Liberty Mutual and Safeco's Agent for the Future “2024 Agent-Customer Connection Study." 

How do you make time to give back? To start, a community event doesn't have to take a lot of time. Nor should your team have to do it all alone. To make organizing easier, seek out an existing event or partner with a nonprofit or other local businesses on a project. Plus, partnering with other organizations helps you accomplish more for a cause, while allowing employees to form deeper connections with the community.

Here are some ways to help employees get the most from your summer volunteer project:

1) Let employees lead. Community giving is a great opportunity for someone on your team to grow their project planning, marketing and management skills. So, empower an employee to lead a brainstorming session on volunteer projects your agency could tackle this summer. Investing in professional development while supporting organizations that are important to your employees builds trust and encourages participation.

2) Keep it simple and achievable. Even small events that require just a few hours can make a positive difference on team morale. Some half-day project ideas include hosting a community food drive; cleaning up a park, beach or trail; or sprucing up a youth club, veterans' home or community center.

3) Recognize team members who volunteer. Treating employees to lunch, honoring their community service during meetings or offering paid time off to volunteer helps nurture an agency culture of giving.

Highlighting your community service is a good way to stand out in a crowded market. If you don't have time to organize an event this summer, begin planning a fall or winter activity now or create a community service calendar for 2025. Committing to community service as a team is the first step toward making it happen.

It's also important to communicate your community involvement. Talking about giving may seem showy or self-serving. But think about it another way: If you're donating time and money to a nonprofit but not telling anyone, you're missing an opportunity to further help the organization. People want to work with businesses that support causes they care about, and your giving might inspire customers and prospects to give as well. Share it proudly on social media or in your other outreach. This exposure can also give you an advantage in recruiting new employees, and even have a positive return on investment in the form of new customers.

When it comes to creating a giving program, the main thing is to start. The community—and your employees—will thank you.

Alexis Holzer is senior marketing manager, independent agent giving at Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance. Visit Agent Giving to check out examples of agencies giving back and to access additional resources to help you on your journey. 

Friday, May 31, 2024
Agency Operations & Best Practices