Armed with a healthy dose of goodwill towards others, Campus Media Group hit the road for our inaugural volunteer day on Friday. This year we gave back to our community by volunteering at Feed My Starving Children, a Minnesota-based non-profit organization with additional locations in Illinois and Arizona. Their mission – “Feeding God’s Starving Children Hungry in Body and Spirit” – became our mission for the day and we dove in. With our teamwork we were able to help feed 16 kids every day for an entire year.
It was a fun and rewarding volunteer event for all of us. Not only did we get to help starving children in nearly 70 countries, we got to work as a team towards a noble goal. We are planning to make our volunteer day an annual event – any suggestions on where we should head next year?
For more information about Feed My Starving Children please check out theirwebsite.
“Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful.” – Unknown “Take Care of People – People before Paper, People before Profits, People before Self and People before Projects” – by Carol S. Ritter
I recently spent a few days in New Orleans working on a Habitat for Humanity site. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but for one reason or another never made the time or the effort. So what spurred me on to do this now? In part because our company, Campus Media, recently put in place a policy that allows all employees to have two paid days off per year if spent volunteering. We’re finding it’s a great way to allow employees to give back to their communities in the way they think is best.
Why would a company decide to just give away more time off to employees? If you are a company that hires Gen Y, offering volunteering opportunities is a great way to provide the kinds of work environment they are looking for. CSRwire reported that according to the 2007 Volunteer IMPACT survey by Deloitte & Touche USA, 62 percent of the 18-26 year old respondents said they would prefer to work for companies that give them opportunities to contribute their talents to nonprofit organizations. As a company that both hires Gen Y and includes them as our target audience, it’s important to reflect their values in what we do every day.
If you are hiring recent grads you are probably seeing that it can be hard to hold onto them longer than a couple years. It’s almost as if they get bored of the job as soon as they are ready to take on more responsibility. Here are a few ideas to help you though those challenges:
1. They see their jobs as more than just a job. They look at it as much more social. Allow them to connect with others on projects versus working solo.
2. Let them work on projects that are outside the company. Millennials see that a company being involved outside of the day-to-day get the job done work is important. Make sure that volunteering is part of your company culture and then let them be part of those committees or let them lead the social/volunteer aspects. Support from your company around giving back to the community is important. Giving back should be a team effort and needs to be backed by the leadership in your company. Also, make sure the person ultimately in charge of the volunteer/giving-back element is sitting down with him/her regularly regarding the activities. They millennial will feel much more engaged and part of the company.
3. Diversify their jobs by giving them different jobs that they can run with and/or own. These can be smaller jobs that after you’ve had a chance to sit down and talk to them about their plans/desires can be transferred to them. Also ensure that these “owned” jobs fit within their personal goals and interests. You’ll get better job performance when it does.
4. Graduates generally take a job with a company with the idea that they will only be there for a couple years and then move on. Be open and honest about that with them and feel free to ask about their plans for the future. Show them they are needed and encourage them to stay in the position longer as to better position themselves for success when they do decide to work for someone else.
5. Let young employees have access to all levels of management. Millennials want to be able to ask the person who can give them the best information when they have a question. Today’s youth don’t care about chain of command and have no problem going directly to the president of the company to discuss their job.