When you're looking for the ideal next move in your career, you may be looking for something more, like a company that gives back to the community. But there are few companies that go the extra step by not only giving back, but allowing and encouraging employees to give back too. At EO Johnson Business Technologies and Locknet Managed IT, the commitment to volunteerism runs deep.
Tanya Gruetzmacher, Vice President Human Resources at EO Johnson says the company's commitment to community started with company founder E.O. Johnson, himself, who believed in the importance of giving back. "Volunteering is a big part of who we are and is strongly supported and encouraged throughout our organization."
Building a company culture of giving back requires commitment, not just of the company itself, but of the employees too.
It starts with hiring the right people
When creating a culture of service and volunteerism, you've got to start early. That means hiring for the culture.
"We want to bring people aboard that have values that are in line with our company culture and we share our core values throughout the interviewing process," explains Gruetzmacher. "One of our core values is 'we count on each other,' which states, 'We depend on one another to each do our jobs for our shared success and are willing to hold each other accountable. Our accountability extends beyond the workplace to our customers, our vendors, and our communities.'
She explains that it's exciting to see job candidates who have been active in volunteerism and serving in the community. "That tells us a lot about what is important to that individual and what they value. We will typically ask about those things as well during the interview process," Gruetzmacher says. If a culture of giving back appeals to you, here's an insider tip that might help you with the interview process. "On the phone screen, which is the first step of the process, we dedicate some time to our core values and ask the candidate to share a little about one of the values and how they would live that value in the position they are applying."
Not sure if a company to which you are applying is a good fit for you from a values perspective? Gruetzmacher offers this tip. "I think it is always a great idea to tell your story and share the things that you do from a volunteer standpoint. If it is not important to the organization, then that may be a sign that they are not an organization which values this. If they don’t, and you do, it may not be the right fit. I would definitely encourage applicants to include volunteer work on their resume and tie it back to how this benefits them either personally or professionally and how it will benefit the organization or the role if they were to be hired."
How EO Johnson Supports Community Involvement
EO Johnson takes their commitment to community so seriously, they have the company policies to back it up. A recently-implemented volunteer policy gives every employee eight hours of paid volunteer time to use during the workweek to give back to the community.
But they don't stop there. "In addition, we also arrange volunteer activities at each office location, getting groups of people together to volunteer locally; we are huge supporters of United Way and put together office campaigns each year to raise money; we do different drives at the office locations such as Fill a Backpack and purchasing Christmas gifts for families in need. We also allow some flexibility in employee schedules, when possible, to allow for volunteer activities such as coaching and serving on local professional committees," Gruetzmacher explains.
The Benefits of Hiring for Culture
You may wonder why a local company spends so much time and effort to hire candidates who are aligned with their company culture. "The benefits of hiring individuals who are aligned with those values are many, both for the company and work colleagues," Gruetzmacher explains. "It makes us all better individuals and better employees when we give our time and talents to others. Giving back gives you fulfillment and when we can help support our employees in their volunteering efforts, it creates a win-win," says Gruetzmacher.
It's also great for building a sense of community within the company walls, she explains. "Employees that volunteer together get to know each other in a different way and it builds teamwork and friendships as they work together for a common cause."
More than that, volunteerism can pay a company dividends in terms of employee personal development. Because it promotes teamwork, communication, and stepping outside one's comfort zone, an organization stands to benefit in the long run from employees who are strong team members, skilled communicators, and agile workers. In addition, some volunteerism can actually build hard skills in addition to these soft skills, so employees can essentially get training on skills they put to work at the office later.
Giving Back: Part of the Culture at EO Johnson and Locknet
Giving back is about more than building a strong workforce. At EO Johnson and Locknet, it's about being good humans and a good corporate citizen.
"At the end of the day, we are all humans, and as humans, we want to care for others and help out when we can," says Gruetzmacher. "Working for an organization that supports volunteerism sends a message that the organization cares about me personally and wants me to be a good human being and do something fulfilling. Typically, if you work for an organization that values those types of things, they more than likely value their people and you will see that in the ways they do business, the way they communicate and treat each other internally, and the types of benefits they provide."
Interested in working for a company that believes in giving back to the community? Check out our career opportunities at EO Johnson Business Technologies and Locknet Managed IT.
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