At what point in the success of a company do you give back? Is it to the founder/CEO's charities? I don't think it has to be. There are so many great causes your team may be passionate about...if you give them a voice.
Years ago my staff brought Lurie Children's Hospital's Dance Marathon to my attention. They organized a team of LaSallians, raised money and danced. As I saw the passion and mission, I became more engaged. Today, LaSalle Network is a major sponsor, and more than $450,000 was raised at this past weekend's Dance Marathon event.
It feels so good that our employees wanted to help raise money. Our team is a group of volunteers who if they all didn't work together probably wouldn't know one another. Yet, they find similarities not in just what they do, but through outside passions. Philanthropy and giving back as one team.
The best part is that it wasn't something I pushed down on our staff. It started with one employee. She recruited a couple of people. Then they came and made a presentation and asked if we would be a corporate sponsor.
These people are big producers for our company. They all work their tails off and are great corporate citizens. And six years later, when I see 20 percent of our Company dancing for eight hours to raise money for sick children and their families in our city, it's beyond moving.
If your company is doing well, encouraging your people to give back can become part of your culture. It demonstrates that you as a leader understand the bigger things in their lives and life in general. Plus, it just feels great.
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