‘Tis The Season of Giving

It's the holiday season and we are all feeling a little more generous. We're gifting with friends and family, sharing homemade treats with our coworkers and celebrating the season with festive gatherings. But how can we extend our kindness past our four walls? Pete Honsberger of CultureShoc shares his ideas on how you can incorporate a charitable element to your workplace events.

5 simple ways to tie charity into your team building event

By Pete Honsberger
Teamwork and community service. They’re two of the biggest feel-good terms in business – and both are strong signs that your organization has the right people.

You want your employees to value teamwork, and you want them to be active in the community because you know those are two essential building blocks for a healthy company culture. But you may not have a great grasp on how to connect those dots in a way that builds that culture.

Simply put, you need to tear down walls. Companies frequently view team building as an internal matter, and community service as an external matter. One is compulsory, the other is elective. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, if you’re separating your team building activities from your community and charitable efforts, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to build and strengthen your culture.

Here are five ways to make community and charity a part of teamwork at your company.
  • Identify a cause. Is there a community organization or charity event that many of your employees support? Can it use a large number of volunteers? Find out which causes motivate your team and find a way to use that passion in a unified effort.
  • Use people’s skills and talents. Do your team members have special abilities, such as the carpentry skills necessary for a Habitat for Humanity project that can help a community organization? People love to feel that their talents and skills are valued by their company. This is a unique way for your team members to take advantage of their existing skill sets and develop new ones.
  • Tie community into the company mission. At a recent event, one of our clients brought in a retired Marine to talk about teamwork and commitment. The appearance was part of a larger campaign to raise awareness about veterans’ issues, but teamwork and commitment were also principle values of the host company. The event was a powerful way to marry community causes with company goals.
  • Show the benefit. Who will benefit from your charitable teamwork? Put a face on the project — the family that will live in the house being built, the people who will eat the meal you’re preparing or the children your donation is helping.
  • Share stories. Once the project is over and everyone is back in the office, show your team the fruits of their labor via photos, videos and stories. They can be inspirational, educational or even humorous. However you do it, the memories of the event are the booster shots that help solidify your culture and sustain a spirit of teamwork.
Pete Honsberger is the director of client services at CultureShoc. If you need assistance on how to tie charity to team building at your company, contact him at pete@cultureshoc.com.

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