The holiday season isn’t just about managing Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s fostering the spirit of giving, too.
As a business leader or part of an organization, you’re in a great position to help your team make a big impression at the holidays, but it can be tricky to encourage them to go it alone. Instead of simply asking your people to do their part this year, you should be leading them with simple ways to make a huge impact together.
Giving Charitably as a Business Team
It’s one thing to write a check from your business to a charitable organization and quite another to get your entire team involved in seasonal charity.
You may find that members of your team want to help out, but either don’t know how or can’t afford to make a sizeable donation to charity on their own. This is where your leadership skills can really shine, if you plan well.
Here are just a few ways you can lead your team to real giving without stretching anyone’s budgets:
- Adopt a charity. Your employees may not have a lot of charitable giving power on their own, but as a company, you can make a visible impact. Let your team help pick the charity you’ll be giving to, whether that’s a local group that helps the homeless or a bigger organization like Toys for Tots.
- Surprise a family in need. Local schools and food banks can often point you in the direction of a family who truly needs a hand at the holidays. By collecting toys and clothing, your employees can work together to build an amazing holiday season for one family, or many, depending on the size of your organization. You can even get customers in on the act!
- Encourage random acts of kindness. Random acts of kindness make a debut every holiday season, with strangers buying each other’s coffee and giving handwritten notes to people who are down.You can encourage your team to do the same by suggesting a random act of kindness of the day for everyone or demonstrating the effects by performing them yourself for your team. Sending Harry in accounting a note telling him he’s a valuable member of the organization and that you recognized his contribution when he saved the company a bundle on mailing supplies can encourage him to do the same for others.
- Organize opportunities to volunteer. Giving doesn’t have to be material, it can also mean giving time to help someone else. There are lots of ways your team can get involved with existing charities that need manpower more than money, like Habitat for Humanity or the Red Cross.Even a blood drive is an act of charitable giving, and one that saves lives every single day. If your employees are more inclined to do charity work that keeps them out of the public eye, manning the phones for a local telethon or crisis hotline might be an option.
- Appreciate your customers in a visible way. Customer appreciation should go beyond emails and coupons, especially during the holiday season. Depending on your main customer base, you might cater a lunch for a real estate office that sends you a lot of service referrals or add customized notes of appreciation to regular customers’ orders. The small things can mean so much to people, especially when they’re dealing with holiday season stress.
- Don’t limit giving to the holidays. Holiday giving is a great place to start charitable programs for your team or company, but you don’t have to stop giving because the grass is peeking out of the snow.Implementing a corporate culture of giving is as simple as sponsoring monthly or quarterly donation drives or volunteer days. You’d be surprised how much a visible culture of giving can raise the spirits of your employees and make a visible impact on your community at large. It’s also a great way to remind the public about your business and offerings!
Encouraging your team in charitable giving requires both visible leadership and persistence. If your employees see you’re giving and you provide easy ways for them to help, it won’t be long before giving is second nature for your entire group. That’s a really great place to be, no matter what the season.