From SOLE Financial Fulfillment Specialist, Nicole Thurmond:
“At SOLE Financial we have built a fast-growing, employee-conscious business on the premise that empowering the under-served provides an enormous benefit to our clients, to our customers, and to our communities. This core belief starts within our own organization.” - Tom Secor, SOLE Financial President
Serving the underserved is fundamental to the SOLE Financial culture. As a company, we recognize the power of the collective impact of building a culture of service. Our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives, such as the Paperless Trees Project, extends to the community through our SOLE Service Day program, which offers an annual paid day of volunteering at an organization of our choice.
I spent my first SOLE Service day teaching 8th graders at HB Lee Middle School how to mediate conflict with their peers. The experience was so rewarding that I came back the following year to continue the mediation project.
Part of the SOLE Service day experience is to share photos and videos from our volunteer opportunities on social media. We tweet about where we serve, which gives the organization exposure, and our co-workers back at the office support and engage with our efforts. After my first year of observing SOLE Service days as well as participating in my own, I realized that while I was supporting my teammates, I was also expanding my awareness of the needs of my own community. Seeing all the opportunities to give back in my Twitter feed, I found myself wanting to join my co-workers on their SOLE Service Days on my own time.
This year, I’ve volunteered with Pride Northwest, ran a 5K race with Race for the Cure, and participated in the Northwest Down Syndrome Association’s Buddy Fest. During each service day I was able to connect with my co-workers on a different level, hearing their stories of what brought them to their organization of choice. Each time I was gaining a new understanding of the people I work with, and appreciating their dedication to serving the underserved.
In this age of information overload and media consumption, we have more access to the needs of our community and how to affect social change than ever before. This means we have a profound ability to connect with one another to create a network of service.
Working for a corporation no longer means having to sacrifice your own values. Corporate social responsibility initiatives that encourage employees to become more visible in the community have the ability to transform how we understand accountability and integrity in the workplace.
Volunteer programs and incentives coincide with SOLE’s social mission of serving the underserved. Allowing the time and space for employees to impact our community reinforces a culture of service in the workplace. In turn, we become more involved and engaged with customers, and one another.
"Everyone can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
If you’re looking for ways to engage your employees with service initiatives, feel free to reach out – I love talking about service. You can also work with professional consulting organizations like Causecast to help build your service initiative platform.