Like to give back? To the community, I mean....Most of us would say yes.
Social activities used to be a big component of what makes a "cool" place to work with sponsored Happy Hours or company-wide outings complete with zip lines and white water rafting.
However, I think maybe tough economic times or perhaps a greater awareness of our world around us has helped redefine the definition of what makes a company cool. Companies like Microsoft, and Salesforce.com have long been active in "community service" or charity work, but now companies like Eloqua are building our Community Service Committee to enable employees, partners and those associated with the company to give back as well.
Eloqua's plans: Eloqua is launching our first Community Service program at Eloqua Experience this year in San Francisco with a Habitat for Humanity build-day. This idea was inspired by many things, most recently by a Habitat build-day I participated in at Frost and Sullivan Marketing World in New Orleans and from attending three years of Salesforce.com's biggest event, Dreamforce.
Benefits of giving back: Last year at Dreamforce I had only 15 min to spare before managing our speaking session, so I jumped in the volunteer area and joined an assembly line putting rice, spices and beans into single-serving bags to help the poverty-stricken. This activity not only made me feel good personally, but I gained a lot of respect for Marc Benioff and his commitment to the Salesforce.com foundation. I also met some great people in that line and it gave me a broader network of peers during the event. Not to mention, we helped a lot of people eat as a result of those 15 minutes.
What it takes: To develop a Community Service Committee takes vision, heart and an understanding that people generally want to help others. Remember, it doesn't have to take a lot of money or time to organize a way to give back. You can pick a global organization like Habitat that takes volunteers in all parts of the world or a local charity that takes volunteers on the weekend like a soup-kitchen.
Find what works for you and your organization. It's about providing the opportunity for your employees, partners and associates to help if they want to. You'd be surprised how many people want to and it's hard to measure all the benefits that result.
How to get involved at Eloqua Experience: If you are attending Eloqua Experience this year October 19-21 in SF and want to volunteer for the build day, just register here. If you live in the Bay Area and want to learn more about your local H for H chapter, check out the site.