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Conference Room: Social Good

by Editorial Staff--South Jersey Biz

During this time of year, people really get into the giving spirit, and it’s when we see many businesses do a final charitable project or fundraising effort for the year. That can mean good things for morale—and for business. But should companies officially encourage their employees to volunteer on a year-round basis? What about making it a requirement? We asked two local CEOs what they think.

Ameet Shah, CEO, Conigent/Wodify
“Volunteering is a core feature of our organizational mission. At Conigent/Wodify, we have a work hard, play hard philosophy. Our 1-1-1 philanthropy program is promoted on our website, mentioned in job postings and described in new employee interviews. Often, employees tell us it was one of the deciding factors in working with us. Giving back, especially when we're working hard together on a Habitat for Humanity build, and other charitable projects where we can get out of the office for a day, pull up our sleeves and dig in, promotes great team-building experiences and makes us feel that we are making a meaningful contribution.”

Les Vail, President and CEO of the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce
“I do feel that if a company can afford to do it and they can provide that opportunity for their employees, then they should encourage it, but unfortunately not every company can afford that and it’s understandable, too. But if it’s in their resources, I think a company should encourage their employees to do that. It’s good for the company, too: It makes them look better within their organizations, and it gets them involved in their community and it gets them known better in their community. It’s really a win-win. But I don’t think you can make anyone volunteer; you can encourage and support it, but you shouldn’t force anybody to do anything. Rather, provide your employees with opportunity and the encouragement.”

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 2, Issue 12 (December, 2012).
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