If you’re in the middle of scrolling through ideas on how to improve your office culture and new team building activities your team will actually like, hit pause. The thing you’re looking for could be as simple as encouraging your team to volunteer in the community. American National tried this out more than 30 years ago, and it’s worked so well, they now have a page on their internal website where team members can find local nonprofits the company highly recommends volunteering with. The company even gives every team member one paid day off every year to spend volunteering.
“It’s about supporting personal growth and development inside and outside of the office,” says Dean McCall, vice president of P & C business operations. McCall has been with American National for 24 years, and the company’s encouragement around volunteering is a big part of the culture that he loves. McCall volunteers for Future Business Leaders of America and with Ozarks Food Harvest on the annual United Way of the Ozarks Day of Caring event. He says volunteering as a department serves a few purposes. It’s a great team building experience, but it’s also a way to build name recognition in the community.
“I see people plan a volunteer activity and gather two or three of their teammates,” says Cindy Norman, a senior agent experience group analyst at American National. Norman first got involved with Day of Caring 30 years ago at the inaugural event thanks to American National. Today, she serves as a co-chair on the Day of Caring committee. “It gives you a chance to make an impact in your community but it’s also a way to make life-long friends,” she says. “We have people who volunteer at Convoy of Hope, Springfield Public Schools, Salvation Army, the Springfield Zoo and a few team members volunteer weekly at the Springfield Dream Center serving dinner.”
With more nonprofits in Springfield than you could count on two hands, we’ve rounded up a few that are ready and eager to sign up large groups of volunteers. So next time your office is looking for a way to connect and give back, we hope this list comes in handy.