Engaging [Remote] Employees With A Culture of Good

Imagine what we can do if we engage employees through doing good while we are doing our work in a way that benefits our fellow coworkers, our customers, and the causes we believe in. That’s the promise of rewiring our thinking in a way that lets us recognize that earning a profit and making the world better through our everyday work is a symbiotic relationship. If an organization isn’t financially sustainable, it’s out of balance, because it won’t have the resources to give back and to do good. But the better a company performs, the more it can give; and the more a company gives, the better it performs.


A Culture of Good drives performance while engaging employees in authentic ways. And the way to kick off that virtuous cycle is to give everyone connected to your organization, which includes your employees and your customers, permission to care about a cause they believe in on a daily basis.


Rallying Around A Common Cause


Our business started in rural regions as a way to service local communities where we were the only phone store in town. Our mom-and-pop stores were important hubs in the communities we served. We lived our Midwestern values. We created jobs for people who liked to interact and help the people in their communities. Our customers loved us because the idea of doing good by people—our employees, our customers, and the members of the communities we live and work in—was woven into the very DNA of our company. That’s why people want to work for our company and why customers want to buy from us—because they know we are a part of the community. That’s why our business has chosen to give back to the local communities where we operate in as our cause; the thing that we strive to impact in a positive way through our jobs on a daily basis.


Over 90% of our employees work in remote, rural communities leading us to discover how to build engagement in a de-centralized work environment.


Tap Into Your Employee’s Passion


While your organization may have a different cause from ours, the key is that the people in your organization are truly passionate about it. That’s how you will win their hearts and minds. The real beauty is that our cause isn’t something that’s enforced from the top-down like so many corporate giving and CSR programs. Our cause has inspired our people to give from the bottom up. There is a symbiotic relationship in every business, where what we take equals what we get. Our associates all over the company have picked up the ball and begun doing good in their own special ways, by stepping up and ­finding their own way to contribute to our shared cause that community matters.


Nothing builds employee engagement like shared values and giving folks the autonomy to make their own decisions.


Building a Culture of Good has resulted in many positive results:


  • More than 93 percent of our people feel that we share their values for social responsibility.
  • We’ve had 58 percent of our folks hashtag at least one picture with #cultureofgood from one of our events.
  • More than 83 percent have used some or all of their 16 hours of paid volunteer time we give them in their communities. In other words, we gave our people the permission to care again as part of their jobs.


Use Resources You Currently Have


The reason our Culture of Good works for engaging remote employees, and why a CSR program would fail, is because we found those core beliefs that had been the foundation of our business all along. It’s also worth noting that it pays to be creative when it comes to allocating resources toward supporting your company’s cause. Perhaps you can use 10% of your current marketing spend and earmark that to impact your cause. Every company has redundancies and wasted spending that, if you can ­and it and eliminate it, can help provide the resources you need to kick off your Culture of Good, which will be an investment that will pay off in spades over the long run. It’s easy to look at budget restrictions during a season where business may be experiencing a downturn.


The question is, what is the cause your organization will rally around and how will you commit to engaging your employees in that good cause?


Give Employees Permission To Care


When you think about it, most businesses start as a way to solve a problem or ­fill a need. You have a real sense of purpose—a why—when you pursue a goal like that. That’s why you see so many people drawn to work at start-ups: they are energized by the idea that they are making the world better for their customers and their cause even in some small way. But what happens so often in business is that as the organization grows and adds more people and customers and moves into new towns and cities, it begins to forget about those core values that made the place so special when it started. The mission shifts from ­filling that need to fi­netuning a spreadsheet. You move from thinking three dimensionally to taking on a two-dimensional view of the world, where you’ve extracted emotion and purpose from the equation. Its why people feel like robots or numbers when they work for big corporations and some smaller corporations aren’t exempt either! They wish they could get back to working at a place where they felt like they made a real difference in the world by being given permission to care.


Building a Culture of Good can ­fill that gap by tying your employees and your customers together in striving toward a common cause.


Begin building your Culture of Good: www.cultureofgood.com

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