Charitable giving pays dividends
In trucking, charity used to entail giving customers a jug of Crown Royal and a box of stogies the week before Santa arrives.
Not anymore. Truckers across the country are making a real difference in their local communities. Their charitable efforts not only help those in need, but pay dividends in employee loyalty and the company brand.
Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada, told me that all the recognized fleets in her highly touted Top Fleet Employers program are involved in some form of charitable giving. Splinter added that “fleets are better connecting their charitable activities with their employees as they see benefits in morale, team building, and recruitment.”
Ironically, at the awards gala Trucking HR Canada hosted to recognize these top fleets, I had the pleasure to tip a few with industry charitable-giving guru Pete Dalmazzi.
“Rexdale Petey” is the founder of the Trucks for Change network, which arranges donated truck capacity so charities can save the transportation costs of distributing food and materials. Drawing on our industry’s community consciousness and deep family roots, he has helped charitable organizations save hundreds of thousands of dollars. He’ll be the first to tell you that involving employees in volunteering and community giving is great for business.
If you’re looking to harness the power of charity at your ﬂeet, here are some things to consider before you head to the liquor and cigar stores.
Empower your people
Sending a cheque to the local Red Cross is admirable (and needed) but there’s a better approach.
New research by Great Place to Work indicates that when employees are involved in charitable efforts at the ofﬁce, they feel a deeper commitment and connection to their employer.
In a service business like trucking, I’m not sure there’s a more powerful tool for growing your business than loyal staffers who love work-ing for your ﬂeet and respect your role in the community.
I bet their enthusiasm will also generate a bigger cheque for their charity.
Your own backyard
There’s nothing wrong with raising money to fight poverty in Africa, but I’m a ﬁrm believer that charitable giving is most powerful in your own backyard. There are people sleeping on the streets and going hungry in every Canadian community. Helping folks closer to home may be more gratifying for you and your employees. And local charities can work with you personally to provide ideas and support.
Most people have more time to give than money. Look for volunteer programs that take advantage of your employees’ professional expertise. If you’re a lawyer it’s called pro bono work. If you’re a trucker or logistics pro, it’s called “experteering”.
Think of the difference your Chief Financial Officer could make by helping the local hospice do its annual budget, or what your logistics manager could accomplish by working with a food bank to find refrigerated warehouse space.
Charitable giving is especially important to the 18-to-35-year-old set that our industry is so desperate to attract.
A survey of more than 2,000 individuals found that millennials are far more likely to work for a company where a commitment to charity is part of its brand.
Speaking of brand, leaders like Pete and Angela – combined with the charity of truckers from coast to coast – are helping to change the negative perception of our industry, which has driven me nuts for years. If you want to help, start with Trucks for Change (trucksforchange.org).
Please help someone in need this holiday season, because charity pays.