How to integrate community engagement into employee retention efforts

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In today’s competitive hiring market, employers are looking for ways to differentiate themselves. Job seekers want opportunities that allow them to develop professionally while contributing to their community; they take a close look at the values ​​and practices of potential employers, including business community engagement.

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Kelly mccormack

Research shows that rising generations are more satisfied in workplaces that offer opportunities to learn and practice leadership skills, engage in work that advances the common good, and expand their skills. professional networks.

Here are three practices to consider in prioritizing community engagement as part of your recruiting message.

Give time to volunteer

Staff volunteer projects are a valuable team building strategy that can benefit the community at the same time. When companies incorporate staff volunteer days into their calendars, it sends a powerful message that making a difference in the community is a priority.

However, these team opportunities are usually limited to benefiting a single organization. Another creative way to improve your benefits is to offer employees paid time off quarterly or annually, so they can choose an organization of their choice whose work they are passionate about.

Encourage community leadership

Companies that provide opportunities for employees to grow as leaders have an advantage in terms of employee attraction, satisfaction and retention. Nonprofit boards and committees can be a rewarding way for employees to expand their networks, learn about their communities, and develop practical leadership skills. Meanwhile, employees who sit on boards of directors build awareness of your company, shape the company’s commitment to the community, and bring new leadership capabilities to their work.

Employers can help employees engage in board service by offering ‘lunch talks’ on what it means to be a board member (contact MANP to set up a session!), inviting employees to observe colleagues who sit on the board of directors, providing flexibility in the schedule to attend board meetings and offering recognition or financial support for their services and accomplishments. The new MANP Map Explorer service (www.NonprofitMaine.org/BoardExplorer) is a low-barrier tool that employers can promote to their employees who want to share their time and talents, but don’t know where to find opportunities.

Engage staff to give back

Maine is fortunate to have such a generous business community that supports local nonprofits through contributions and sponsorships. In turn, there are many ways to involve your company’s employees in these decisions and relationships.

Are you looking to your employees for ideas on causes to support? Would your employees appreciate “lunch and learns” with non-profit partners? Do you offer an easy way to donate to charitable payroll deduction? What about a matching gift program, where the company sets aside funds to match employee donations?

The relationship between nonprofits and the people who partner with them is often very rewarding and mutually beneficial. When recruiting talented professionals in this competitive market, think creatively about providing unique opportunities for staff to get involved in community groups that matter to them. Together, we can ensure our communities and Maine’s enviable quality of life have what it takes to thrive.


Kelly mccormack is responsible for development and marketing for the Maine Association of Nonprofits. She can be reached at [email protected].


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