Among the many strategies for building your small business, don’t overlook one which is relatively simple to implement but which yields significant returns for everyone – company-sponsored volunteerism. Getting your employees out from behind their desks and into the community doing good is a plus for all involved.

Employees who volunteer through an employment setting demonstrate better attitudes at work, feel more positively toward their employer and report greater connectedness with the company. Employees who step out into volunteer roles on behalf of your business are happier employees. They experience deeper bonds with their fellow employees who join with them in serving and giving. Those improved relationships result in a boost to workplace morale. No amount of seminars can replace the benefits of a shared positive experience. In fact, the boosts are real enough that some companies pay employees their regular salary to volunteer during work-time hours.

Improved office relationships and loyalty to the company are internal benefits to be gleaned through a volunteer program, but there are external benefits as well. Encouraging community service is a free channel for improved public relations. Such programs produce positive identity for your brand as you build a reputation for giving back and contributing to the common good. A face and a pair of hands make a big impact for your brand. People in the community take note and remember when it’s time to spend.

Going even further, sponsoring an employee volunteer program can help you attract high caliber prospective employees as well. A majority 64 percent of those looking for work say an employer’s environmental and social posture can inspire loyalty. This is especially true for younger workers. And 62 percent of currently employed people say they prefer to work for a business which provides volunteer opportunities. In other words, creating this incentive will draw you better qualified workers and help you to retain the ones you have.

Serving others grows the individual who participates and they, in turn, bring that personal growth back into the work environment. Employees who volunteer enjoy their work and fellow workers more and tend to report a higher degree of connection and satisfaction with their company. The sense of teamwork and accomplishment derived from volunteering yields tangible benefits for your company. The good you do in the community adds to your brand value. It’s a win-win idea from any angle.