Shop local, buy green, support women of color and encourage small businesses. We always have a choice:
What could this possibly have to do with running a sustainable carpet company? At Interface, we talk about sustainability all the time and people all over our organization have some direct connection to this mission, whether through manufacturing, marketing, supply chain or sales.
But even if they have some idea of sustainability and how it relates to them and their everyday work, do they really feel sustainability? Spending a nearly a quarter of our annual two-day sales meeting building garden boxes in a community garden, reading to school kids, playing bingo with seniors, installing carpet at a children's home and stocking a food bank will not eliminate our environmental footprint, but it will provide more of an emotional connection to our mission than carbon offsets ever could.
Since it has become an annual rite to identify and engage local organizations in the city where we hold our sales meeting and to send out a crew of volunteers to spend a half-day on the projects of their choice. Participating in this tradition reinforces the identity of Interface as a company that leaves the places where we work better than we found them, and the people we partner with inspired and fulfilled.
We call them "Legacy Projects" Benefit of community service the positive impact we hope to leave. In his very first speech on sustainability at Interface inRay Anderson asked us to take on the challenge of becoming the first "restorative enterprise," and "do good for the earth, not just no harm.
You may well be asking, "How is this really any different from the kind of corporate community service that has existed for decades? Legacy Projects would not have the same impact if they were a stand-alone event that everyone was expected to get excited about once a year.
These projects give associates an opportunity to get their hands dirty sometimes literally demonstrating our sustainability commitment and the Power of One.
The other difference is how we conduct the projects and we are happy to share a few aspects of what has worked for us over the years in order to encourage other companies to develop their own high-impact service programs: To send the message that the company values these acts of service, even the top executives must serve and endure the backaches of garden labor or the public humiliation of being called out for mismanaging bingo at the senior center.
Everyone likes to see the boss sweat a bit and it has helped Legacy Projects become an endless source of unforgettable stories that are now part of our shared company lore. Go where we can make the biggest difference: Rather than outsourcing the organization of our service projects, as some companies do, or holding them in the hotel ballroom, we have found great value in designing the experiences ourselves and taking the time to make sure we are putting our people in areas where the need is greatest in the local community.
We look to optimize our impact by finding partners that are part of a larger community effort that will endure long after we leave. The impact of these experiences goes both ways. The local groups are also the beneficiary of our sales culture, where even making a difference gets turned into an all-out competition, and the locals are continually amazed at how much we accomplish in a few hours.
We aim to create experiences that make an emotional connection with every associate who participates. While the manual labor produces very tangible outcomes, quality time is equally valuable. Even our cynics and old-timers look forward to these projects. One measure of their popularity is the way they have expanded organically throughout our organization.
From their beginnings at Americas sales meetings, Legacy Projects have spread to Interface sales meetings around the world and have been done with suppliers, dealers and customers as well.
The latest expansion is our international collaboration with the U. As part of its first Green Apple Day of Service last fall, Interface sponsored and participated in 30 service projects at schools in seven countries. As with the best corporate philanthropy, the Green Schools partnership serves two purposes: Community programs that also have some business benefit are the ones that tend to last, while well-meaning philanthropic programs with little connection to the business may not survive the next economic downturn.
Legacy Projects may at first seem unconnected to the business of making and selling carpet tiles, but we consider them a vital part of our ability to attract and retain talent. Working side by side to help strangers in need builds lasting connections between our associates, especially sales people and others who work in relative isolation from co-workers.
This opportunity to collectively make a positive impact is now part of the glue that holds together a unique corporate culture built at the unlikely intersection of commercial carpet and environmentalism.
Image by Strejman via Shutterstock Topics:Benefits Of Service Learning.
February 5, , Harri Daniel, Comments Off on Benefits Of Service Learning. Benefits of Service Learning. Service learning refers to a technique of teaching that emphasizes on the importance of classroom curriculum, as well as meaningful service, like youth service.
Community service is a great way to help others and improve your community, and it can also help you gain skills and experience to include on your resume and college applications.
Read on for dozens of community service ideas to . The goal of the community formed by Northwell Health’s more than 9, doctors, 10, nurses, 47, employees and 3, volunteers is keeping healthy the 7 million people who live in our service . The Virginia Department of Social Services develops and administers programs that provide timely and accurate income support benefits and employment services to .
The benefits of service learning are equally shared among the community, the student, the faculty, and the university. When the stage is set for a high quality service learning experience, the performance will result in any number of academic, professional, social, political, or individual enhancements.
Benefits of Volunteerism in College. Many college freshmen enter the world of higher education with some volunteer experience under their belts.
Some needed to complete a set number of volunteer hours to graduate. Others sought out community service opportunities to make their college applications stand out.
And some simply felt a desire to.