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By: Joshua Driver, CEO & Co-Founder of Selfless.ly

Raise your hand if you need some good news right now. Same here.

I have scaled back my social media time significantly. I’m not watching the news, nor participating in any political discussions. I have a company to run, and a responsibility to do the right things to ensure we can survive as a small business during the pandemic. Yes, we have to be conscious of all our spending, but we also invested in a few processes and programs that have already paid for themselves – in dividends!

  1. Making Time To Check In
  2. Community Support
  3. Employee Recognition

Make Time to Check In

“Before we get started…. How are YOU doing?” For the last 3 weeks, I have started all of my zoom calls with this question. The longer we are sheltering-in-place, the more I am hearing about the struggles people are having. The emotional tolls we are experiencing from relying on virtual communication right now will lead to an already staggering need for mental wellness programs. Have you authentically checked in with your staff, customers, and colleagues? If you haven’t, then you should. The better we understand our network during this time, the better our product can be, the better my leadership can be, and the better our company will be for its employees. I believe that people will remember how we reacted during this time. If we do it poorly, people don’t forget.

Community Support

How are you leveraging your company to help the community? Hopefully, by now you have migrated to a remote workforce (if able) or implemented new SOP’s to continue operations in this new world. If you’re able, take steps to allocate resources towards altruistic initiatives. This doesn’t have to be monetary donations. Take a look at what your product, service, skilled employees, or financial resources could offer. At Selfless.ly, we built a free volunteer management program for nonprofits and have partnered with Service Indiana & Hedges to create www.VirtualGiveback.org to coordinate resources for Indiana’s charitable community. Our investment from a financial perspective has been relatively minimal. At the same time, we’ve now been able to learn from over 100 organizations about their needs and how we can step up to help. Our competitors have either raised prices or continued with business as usual. It seems very tone deaf and consumers are paying attention. Remember, indecision is a decision. Which side of history do you want your brand to be on?

Employee Recognition and Engagement

Virtual backgrounds have been the hero we needed for the last few weeks. I’ve been using them for almost all of my meetings. However, as we are still confined to our homes, this doesn’t mean that we pause our culture initiatives or stop our internal recognition programs. We know that employees are always looking for purpose in the workplace, and especially now, what can they be doing from home to help the greater good? What about empowering your employees to give back to causes they care about? Create a challenge employee can work on virtually that would exponentially benefit a nonprofit. Perhaps they can use another part of their brain that may be dormant during the workday.

  • How about involving the kids to color pictures for first responders working double shifts?
  • What about donating items to local food banks?
  • How about having employees report on what they are doing to help their neighbors or the good they are doing outside of work – and recognize that during your “all hands”

The key point is that everyone needs a range of activities to participate in from home and involving employees in giving back builds culture like no other!

Research by Boston Consulting Group shows companies that continue to leverage their resources philanthropically benefit from an increase in sales up to 7%, and increase in employee engagement and retention.

Now is the time for companies to make bold and courageous decisions about their purpose and role in overcoming this challenge. When you look at the value of society’s needs along with your business needs, they go hand-in-hand to help you through the bad times.

We need some “silver linings” stories right now. I, your employees, consumers, and networks are watching.

Need help getting started? Shoot me a note at Josh@selfless.ly!

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