On any given day, you will find Marco employees volunteering in the community. Some spend a day volunteering their time to help a local cause - cleaning, painting, packing or building. Some serve as classroom instructors teaching kids about finance and business. And others lead nonprofit boards or coach their kids’ sports teams.
Community involvement is a hallmark of Marco’s culture. On an employee’s first day at new hire orientation, we share our belief in “doing good” in our communities. We believe in it so much, that we allow employees to volunteer during the work day – on company time.
Tina Hengel is a continuous improvement specialist at Marco and one of our company volunteer advocates. She was recently asked by a new co-worker while volunteering, “Do we really get paid to do this?” Her answer was, “Yes, we sure do – the entire time.”
I had a chance to visit with Tina about how she thinks volunteering benefits our employees. Here are our thoughts:
- Gain a better perspective.
It can be hard to get away. Like many employees, Tina has felt like it would be easier to just stay and get work done in the office. But as soon as the volunteer activity starts, she knows she’s right where she belongs. She realizes that although her work at Marco is important, the positive impact her volunteering has on the community is important too. Sometimes by supporting others’ needs, we gain a better understanding of our community dynamics.
- Relieve and reduce stress.
We are a high performing technology company – that’s growing rapidly. It can get stressful. The ability to take a break from the work day to volunteer allows employees to clear their minds. They share that when they come back to work they feel more engaged and energized, and I think they are probably more productive too.
- Build connections with other employees.
As we have grown, it has become more challenging for employees across departments to meet one another. If they don’t naturally work together, they probably won’t meet – until they volunteer together. We see employees building bonds with each other that likely would not happen without the opportunity to participate in activities like United Way Day of Caring, Junior Achievement or Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake.
- Have a community impact.
Becoming a great place to work and developing a coveted culture is not just about how companies treat and pay their employees. It’s also about how we take care of our customers and support our communities. Allowing employees to volunteer on company time encourages more involvement in key initiatives that make our communities better.
Large businesses are often better positioned to promote volunteerism because of the size of their workforce. But we’ve made this a practice at Marco since we were a small typewriter shop back in 1973. It’s a part of who we are – and that won’t change. No matter how big we get, we will always be active participants in the communities in which we live and serve.