Gear Up to Give Back

Pumpkin Spice is in the air and the leaves are beginning to change. The holiday season is just around the corner, and our busy summer leasing season is coming to an end. One of the best, and easiest ways to encourage positive energy amongst your teams and positive feedback about your company’s values is to stay involved in your community, and give back.

It can be draining on our staff when a lot of times companies in our industry are focused on money, raising rents, and collecting more fees – especially after putting in the extra efforts to pull occupancies up and stabilize before the slow winter season. All of these things will certainly help our properties financially grow, but at the end of the day, we are in the people focused business – If we want our teams to take pride in where they work, and our residents to be proud of where they live, we as leaders must give them something more than financial gains for the organization to feel good about. Below are a few super easy, cost effective ways to get your team’s mojo rolling this giving season!

Internal Giving:
Inner company gift buying programs are a great way to promote unity amongst your teams. Sometimes it’s our own co-workers who are in dire need of help during the holidays. Some companies chose to set up inner company gift buying programs for the little ones within our organizations. Others set up Thanksgiving meal sponsorships – Both are great ways to show your team that you care about those who spend their days helping your company succeed. Some companies even decide to gift ALL of their employees with $100 grocery gift cards before the Thanksgiving holiday as a token of their appreciation for all the employees do to help the business succeed. This is amazing if possible, but for some smaller companies or for those with many employees this may be a tough feat. Don’t give up though! Encourage your teams to participate in giving!

An easy way to get employees involved in contributing – allow direct withdrawal from paychecks- even $1 per week adds up over a year! Once you have your funds collected, you could identify employees in need based on anonymous request submissions. A way to add the human element vs. just financial collection – Ask for a wish list from each child that will receive a collected grant. Get your leadership teams involved by sending them to physically purchase and wrap the gifts! What an excellent way to give the ability for your team to participate in hand delivering a dose of holiday spirit. Trust me – it’s a wonderful feeling.

Need an extra boost to raise funds? Host staff jeans days throughout the year! A simple $5 contribution allows for a temporary modification to the company’s dress code requirements on Fridays, or whatever day you feel fit. You may be surprised how eager your team may be to not only do their part in helping someone within their own organizational family, but to do so just to simply showcase their own style!

External Team-Building/Giving:

Promote Unity amongst your team by encouraging participation in charity events as a group! Salvation Army bell ringing is a great way to get everyone together, get the holiday sprit rolling, and boost team morale. A little get away from the office is always nice – especially when you can enjoy it with your coworkers ringing bells and sipping cocoa during the work day!
Want to take it a step further? Sign your team up for a volunteer day at your local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, or put together a packing team at Feed My Starving Children! Both organizations offer the ability for teams to combine their efforts and work together towards one central goal – not only are you giving back to those in need, you’re building morale amongst your team at the same time!

Getting the Residents Involved:

One of the easiest ways to give back is to involve your residents! Hosting monthly drives through the holiday season is a good way to get your residents and staff committed to continually give back to your community. A few examples of some seasonal drives: School Supply drive in August, Candy bar sales for your local high school football team in September, Food and Toy drives in November, Mitten trees in December… Want to take it to the next level? Promote a different drive each month throughout the year!

Though certainly the most popular time of year, giving doesn’t need to be limited to the holiday season. Giving back and staying involved in the charitable needs of your community or within your organization is one of the easiest ways to give your teams a sense of purpose – which can easily get lost in the day-to-day grind for higher occupancies and rising revenues. The most important part of giving back is ensuring you’re being genuine in your efforts. Do things that genuinely help others… After all, the energy you put into the universe, you shall receive. Cheers to a season of giving!

Jenna M. Schneider, CRM