Keeping Connected in the New Workplace

 

One of the buzzwords of the past nineteen months is connection. Whether bringing your team back to the office or not, you may ask, “how do I make my employees feel more connected and keep them that way?” That’s not as challenging when everyone is in the office. Team members see each other daily, stop and chat in the hall and find it easier to talk openly about projects. That line of communication is hard to create in remote work environments where people talk briefly over Zoom and may not even turn the camera on or don’t see each other in-person because they are on differing schedules. One of the answers may be simple: get involved with an environmental volunteer project.

This is the perfect time of year to be outdoors to enjoy the fall weather and where people have now grown comfortable socializing. The pandemic has hit hard for many and while giving back helps the organizations where you are volunteering, it may also be the boost you didn’t know you needed too. Therefore, volunteering hands-on in nature not only lifts the community up but your team as well.

 

 

Volunteers are the lifeblood of nonprofits. With the halt to volunteer events over the past two years, there has been a large piece missing to assist organizations in executing their missions. From overgrown weeds, hiking pathways overtaken by brush, invasive species spreading, to piling litter from inconsiderate visitors, there is a need more than ever for volunteers to help keep our outdoor spaces safe and beautiful. Employers of all sizes who are willing to have team members get their hands dirty demonstrate a commitment to the environment and the community.

Studies have shown that employees want to work for companies that demonstrate a commitment to their values, and where they feel a part of a team. Environmental volunteering gives employers an opportunity to demonstrate their corporate values and employees a chance to support their personal interests and passions as well.

The team building that takes place when employees work together to achieve a goal is an easy way to help improve communications amongst team members, identify leaders in the group, and learn more about the shared values of the team. Gathering outside the workplace to work together for a common goal brings people to a neutral environment where everyone is on a level playing field and is allowed to shine in their own way. By working together, volunteers can see the impact of their work, gain a personal sense of satisfaction, as well as a shared bond in completing the goal together. According to HelpGuide’s Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. and Lawrence Robinson, “the social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person.“ By providing stress relief, connection and sense of purpose, employers are going to have more satisfied, productive employees with a higher retention rate.

 

 

The type and amount of volunteer opportunities available through EarthShare New Jersey are endless because of our network of environmental nonprofit members across the state. We are a go-to, one-stop-shop for customized experiences to engage employees. We work with you to find what the right fit is for your team by creating experiences for both large and small groups. Volunteer programs are offered year-round for full or half days. We want your team’s experience to be a memorable, enjoyable time where they get to give back to the communities where they live, work and play. We are with you throughout the entire experience including coordinating every aspect of the activity except transportation there. This includes tools, supplies, materials, refreshments and lunch if you chose.   

 

 

The EarthShare New Jersey volunteer program has returned to full operation!  We had two different groups join us this month to pull weeds, plant grasses, remove annuals, plant bulbs, mulch and more.  They’ll be able to see the impact of their work in the spring as they stroll through the gardens in Liberty State Park. With nineteen (19) local members, there are many different types of volunteer activities to choose from besides gardening such as paddling down the Hackensack to skim litter out of the river, maintaining nature trails in the Palisades forest, walking our beaches to remove trash, and so much more to make an unquestionable impact on our environment.

 

 

To learn more about creating a volunteer opportunity for your team with EarthShare New Jersey, visit the volunteering page on our website. There are many opportunities to reunite your team outside and give back to the natural surroundings that have gotten us through so much over the last nineteen months. So, what are you waiting for, join us in making an impact!

 

Alyssa Zabinski
Business Manager, EarthShare New Jersey

 

 

 

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