How to Give Back This Holiday Season
Giving back is a win-win for leaders and companies. It obviously helps the recipient, but acts of kindness can be very beneficial for you and those you lead, too. In fact, science tells us that when people are kind (e.g., giving back or doing things for others), they experience a number of physical and emotional benefits: greater self-esteem, higher energy levels, better health, less physical pain, lower stress levels and other positive perks. So it makes sense that organizations that give back tend to have stronger employee morale, productivity, loyalty and sense of purpose. Their employees get to be part of a culture that helps others, whether it’s supporting someone (or something) in their community or beyond. Remember, tis the season of giving! If your organization doesn’t already have a way to give back, consider taking on this practice and make giving back part of your strategy to strengthen the company you lead.
Here are some tips to support your giving efforts:
1. Be Selective About What Or Who You Support
Good causes are everywhere. So it’s important to determine what makes sense for your organization. You won’t please everyone, particularly if your company is quite large. But you can certainly choose one or more ways to give back that makes sense and inspires most. When making a decision, consider asking employees for suggestions. This will help with buy-in, which will boost the odds that people will be more motivated to participate and get on board with whatever effort you undertake.
2. Champion What You Choose
At MAP, we see a number of our clients giving back in amazing ways—helping mentor people, empowering students through tutoring, raising funds for the disabled and orphans, and much, much more. These organizations have leaders that are committed to making things happen. They leverage their influence to get others on board with the opportunity and promote it. And they don’t just pick something to support and then expect everyone else to do the giving. They champion what they’ve chosen, get involved and participate, and see it through until the giving’s end or a goal has been met.
3. Keep It Simple
Your people won’t mind investing their time, energy, money or other resources to give back as long as it’s something they have the bandwidth and resources to do. Particularly during the holidays, when people are already stressed and pressed to meet year-end deadlines and targets, adding more to their to-do list can be overwhelming. So don’t feel the initiative you choose has to be elaborate or complex. In fact, if you keep it simple, you’ll be more likely to get people on board and participating.
Share your “giving” story—tell us how your organization or you, as a leader, give back and any lessons you’ve learned about gratitude!