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The spirit of giving and what I’ve received in return
Engaging with those in your wider community can have significant benefits beyond just getting your business out there. Getting involved, practicing good Corporate Social Responsibility, and giving back with a meaningful approach all make it likely you’ll enrich your bottom line in multiple ways.
Nurture relationships and give without seeking to receive
Through giving, we tend to build relationships with a range of people who are also running businesses and are like minded in their approach.
In my Director’s capacity with PageGroup I attend many events, where I’ve met some extraordinary people within the Australian business community and formed strategic partnerships and alliances which offer great benefit to both sides.
Key to the success of these partnerships is the act of giving without expecting an immediate return. This is not based on a strategy or formula, and it’s not something which should be forced. Instead, it’s about taking a personal approach and getting involved in community activities. By getting involved you’ll meet people. In doing this you’ll build relationships, and out of this opportunity often knocks.
Don’t seek to receive, and more often than not, you will.
Get involved where you genuinely care
Ensuring your business engages with the community on a level where you have real interest is essential.
PageGroup focuses Corporate Social Responsibility and engagement with a few key organisations and initiatives. Our major national CSR initiative is with The Smith Family, but we participate in activities with several other groups, including the Reach Foundation, Sydney Swans AFL Club, Pink Ribbon Day, the Lung Health Foundation, the Leukemia Foundation, and the Asylum Seekers Centre. We choose these groups because as a company, altruistically we believe in what they’re doing and the value they bring to society.
Our staff are able to participate in CSR activities in various ways, through mentoring young people, fundraising, sponsorship, hosting workshops and donating time or gifts. All of these contribute not just to the groups we engage with, but to morale, development and engagement of staff within the business.
One of my own rewarding business relationships of late comes out of being involved with Centre Circle, the business and community leaders group operated in conjunction with the Sydney Swans AFL team. Through a Centre Circle event sponsored by PageGroup, I was fortunate to be introduced to Dean Mannix, sales training expert and CEO of SalesITV. We discovered our values and goals were well aligned, and after the event we caught up again. Dean freely shared some excellent advice on running a sales business, and we’ve continued to grow and evolve our relationship since then.
Over the past year, Dean and I have co-hosted and sponsored breakfast seminars around Australia, PageGroup has recruited three great new staff for Dean’s business (and restored his faith in recruiters in the process!), and Dean was the keynote speaker at our 2017 leadership conference. All that has come from the simple act of getting involved with a cause we both care about.
Don’t start by asking for business
Dean shared an excellent insight regarding giving and engagement with people we meet at business events, and I think it’s spot on.
He says, “Earning the right to discuss business very rarely happens at the first event.
“If you show up focused on participating and helping you’ll often get lucky and meet someone with an immediate need.
“The more aligned the event is to things that matter to you on a personal level the easier it is to invest, but you really need to commit to getting runs on the board before you’re asking for business.”
Looking at any form of business introduction as an opportunity to add value is key. Long term engagement which offers serious bottom line return is very much out there, but not if you go into every meeting or event with the mindset of only adding value by selling something.
In our business, we’re fortunate to meet with a vast array of organisations and service providers, and ultimately partner with many of them to hire people. I’m constantly meeting with organisations to talk about recruitment. In the process of doing that, though, I’m getting to understand what they’re doing and what their challenges are outside of recruitment. Being open to a discussion before asking for someone’s business builds better relationships. Ultimately they’ll likely want to do more business because there’s a connection beyond a simple transaction.
Make giving a habit, not an obligation
Dean says, “Giving and being generous is a habit - the more you focus on it and practice it, the better you get at it.
“The more you do for people and influencers in your target market, the more often it comes back around.”
Dean’s business encourages its customers to build favours and giving into company culture, and it’s something we focus on a lot at PageGroup too. Through those long term CSR initiatives, particularly with The Smith Family, we are able to give staff the opportunity to really build generosity and a spirit of giving into their lives. There’s no obligation to participate, yet by engaging with initiatives which resonate with our company and our staff, we find people become very committed to giving as a habit instead of through forced corporate altruism.
Bottom line results of giving
Our involvement and concentration on making community engagement meaningful has led to so many instances where, by giving freely, we receive bottom line returns far greater than expected. Getting something back for your giving doesn’t reduce the good in what you’ve done, either. It is possible to give altruistically and still receive when approached with the right mindset.
We form many relationships with people and organisations who need help with recruiting, and most of them are looking to do business with like-minded people. As individuals and as a company we work hard to give back wherever we can outside of those direct business transactions, and if that’s returned by way of increased financial reward in the long term, it’s a fantastic result all around.
Want to work with a company focussed on giving back? Contact one of our recruiters today!