Harvey Mackay Academy's Blog

Mackay Maxim: Learn from Ali. Service to others is the rent each of us should pay for our room here on Earth.

Doing well by doing good is an oft-overlooked part of everyday life. Volunteering, it seems, is for people who have lots of free time, such as schoolchildren or low-level company employees. Many people believe that they do not have time to “waste” on volunteering – these perceptions could not be further from the truth.

Volunteer work can bring significant professional benefits to you and your business. Not only does volunteer work help build your professional skills, it can also help you expand your circle within the local community. I believe that everyone should engage in regular volunteer work – it does more good than harm, after all.

Gaining Community Insight

Volunteering in your local community gives you the insight about what’s happening in your backyard. If your business does not give back or help out with the people around you, you miss out on building valuable connections and increasing your consumer base. Volunteer puts you on the frontlines – you work alongside people in your community to help those in your community.

You can gain insight into the worries, wants, needs, and goals of the people who matter – and your business can incorporate these perspectives into company decisions. Use this insight to develop a strong and sustainable relationship with the community and establish your business as a friendly presence.

Understanding New Experiences

One of the best things about volunteer work is that you can learn about people or problems you wouldn’t experience in your normal day-to-day life. Working in new environments with new people can drastically expand your worldview. You can bring this fresh perspective with you into work and use it to create new ideas, boost certain campaigns, or block poor decisions before the company makes them.

Building Professional Skills

Volunteer work helps you learn and exercise new skills that you don’t get a chance to flex in your current position. You can easily bring the new skills you learn while volunteering into your day-to-day job and strengthen your business’s weaknesses.

Working with the local Boys and Girls Club, for example, can give you a chance to strengthen your tutoring and communication skills. As a result, you can bring those skills into the workplace when you’re engaging in employee training or explaining new concepts to investors. Serving as the treasurer for your company’s social committee can help you learn valuable accounting skills and bring better money management to your position. Whatever the situation, you learn and you help at the same time – win-win.

Improve Relationships Through Team-Building

Scheduling a company volunteer day can provide significant benefits to the relationships among you and your employees. Chances are that your employees come to work, stay in their cubicles, and go home each day without speaking to many people around the office. Volunteering together can create a sense of connection and camaraderie among your employees. Happier, closer employees lead to a happier, more productive workplace!

Volunteer work can be a powerful tool for many businesses. If you find yourself or your employees in a rut, seek out local community service events or charities to volunteer with. Schedule a company day of service at the local soup kitchen. Whatever the case, implement volunteer work as a core value for your business – there’s no harm in doing good!

About the Author

Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.