Those who volunteer their time and effort to promoting the work of organisations or in developing aspects of work life, are deserving of any form of appreciation and/or recognition that is offered to them.
For whatever reasons, there is a tendency to overlook and undervalue the contributions of individuals. This display of negativity, and the absence of gratitude being shown, has the effect of demotivating and demoralising individuals.
Volunteers must be applauded for the unselfish act of wanting to make a contribution without regard for compensation or any form of reward. This is the type of attitude that any progressive thinking employer should encourage amongst his employees. There are benefits to this. Apart from helping to promote the company’s corporate image, it is a value added that can help the company to grow and improve significantly on its bottom line.
People usually like to associate with winners, and so there is much to gain by supporting those employees who undertake to volunteer their service in some aspect of the life of the company, at the level of the community, or at the national level.
The fear that to support large scale volunteer efforts in an enterprise could lead to the loss of productive man hours is understandable. However, prudent management can negate the possible abuse of time, and alternately create an understanding within the culture of the organisation that is acceptable to all.
There are several good reasons why employers should encourage their employees to volunteer their service to a particular cause. A perfect reason for such was advanced by the great Mahatma Gandhi, who stated that:
“He who devotes himself to service with a clear conscience, will day by day grasp the necessity for it in greater measure, and will continually grow richer in faith. The path of service can hardly be trodden by one who is not prepared to renounce self-interest, and to recognise the conditions of his birth.
Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make not only for our own happiness but that of the world at large.”
Many persons are sometimes reluctant to offer their service, simply because they fear that the support of their employer would not be forthcoming. Some on the other hand turn down the opportunity to serve because they underestimate their own potential and ability. To those individuals, you are to be encouraged by the words of the great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
He reminded that: “Everybody 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.”
For those of you who are reluctant to serve, it should not be lost upon you that your contribution as a volunteer to the workplace and the community at large, often does not go unnoticed. This contribution can make the difference when individuals are selected or recommended for an award, promotion, or some other opportunity for which persons are considered, based on an overall assessment of the individual’s performance and contributions.
As individuals, we are all called to service. Every worker should therefore be encouraged by the words of Lee Child, who is quoted to have said:
“A person less fortunate than yourself deserves the best you can give. Because of duty, and honour, and service. You understand those words? You should do your job right, and you should do it well, simply because you can, without looking for notice or reward.”
* Dennis de Peiza is a Labour Management Consultant with Regional Management Services Inc.
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