French Buddhist monk, writer, and philosopher Matthieu Ricard eloquently stated that:
“Altruism Is Not A Luxury, But A Necessity” And “The Answer To The Question Of Human Survival In The 21st Century.”
In today’s world, where people are motivated by their desires, selfishness and seek to look out for themselves rather than others, the mere idea of showing kindness to others without expecting anything in return and working without being rewarded seems utterly eccentric to the majority of people.
It’s the sort of argument where people consider altruistic behaviors and tendencies to be limited to personalities like Mother Teresa, The Dalai Lama, or the ones who have already made a difference in the world, such as Bill Gates. However, the truth is that altruism is not something that is limited to those who have found their purpose and changed the world but is instead the key ingredient for finding the purpose of our lives.
To prove that altruism is a part of human nature, researchers and scientists conducted extensive studies to show that the human mind contains special cells referred to as mirror neurons that let people recreate anyone’s actions within themselves. For example, these neurons fire in such a way that allows us to feel what somebody else is feeling, such as if someone is feeling happy or laughing, simply witnessing them will fill us with joy.
Nevertheless, the opposite holds true, as well. If we see someone crying or feeling low, we tend to reproduce their behavior and can feel a certain level of sadness.
Now that we know that altruistic behavior is deep-rooted in humans, what is the significance it holds in companies, businesses, and workplaces?
The nature of work is rapidly transforming. As the world is hit by automation at an unprecedented rate, skills that require human interaction are going to become incredibly valuable and fundamental. Geoff Colvin, the author of the book Humans Are Underrated, claims that just as computers are designed and programmed in a way to perform calculations, the human mind is programmed for social activities and interactions. The answer to successful human interaction, he stresses, lies in one unique, particular skill: Empathy!
One of the most influential generations of employees that all employers look forward to are the Millennials! A study by Bulldog Reporter suggested that nearly 73% of millennials work for organizations that provide them with personal and professional growth. A staggering 90% claim that they thrive while using their skills to achieve something good — which all suggests that millennials want to work in organizations with an altruistic culture that allows them to give back.
The programs that give employees an idea of corporate social responsibility is not limited only to tech giants such as Google or Microsoft. This is because big employers do not want their employees to search for a meaningful cause to use their talents outside their workplace.
But only if they knew that this behavior would actually bring their Companies so much more!
So, What Are The Benefits Of Volunteering That Employees Are Likely To Experience? Let’s Have A Look At Some Of The Key Aids
1) Volunteering Brings People Together.
One of the most important things that affects a person’s mental health is the amount of social interaction in their lives. Due to the nature of corporate life, people are not left with ample time to fulfil this social need and the volunteering activities that your company organizes allows for people to meet and connect with others.
2) Volunteering Boosts Overall Confidence And Builds Self-Esteem.
Helping others and the volunteering community gives you a sense of accomplishment, ultimately improving self-esteem and building self-confidence. Admit it; we all want this energy in our workplaces.
3) Volunteering Improves Not Only Physical Health But Also Mental Health.
In a society where mental health is neglected, research has suggested that people who invest their time in helping others feel happy and content. Additionally, it lowers stress, anxiety, and benefits people who live with depression.
Besides, people who believe in helping others benefit from lower blood pressure and tend to live longer. Most of the people who engage in volunteering activities believe that it helps reduce stress and is good for their overall well-being.
4) Volunteering Is Essential To Seek A Meaningful Purpose
Perhaps the biggest challenge employers face is keeping their employees engaged. Employees often experience a lack of purpose or commitment at their workplaces. Once they discover it, the workplace will seem more like a “life place.”
In today’s world, more and more people are seeking purpose at their workplaces. They look forward to contributing towards something meaningful or a product/ service that brings value to society. If they fail to find this in their workplaces, they look outside for more significant opportunities.
Altruism, just like empathy and compassion, is regarded as the moral practice of care and concern for the happiness and overall well-being of others. Research conducted in the past and present has shown that engaging in altruistic activities not only gives satisfaction to people but also makes the person performing the act happier. The main question that lingers in our mind is what motivates us to show kindness and compassion in the first place? Research conducted on empathy and compassion by the University of California has suggested that the urge to help someone in need stimulates the vagus nerve — the longest and the most complex bundle of nerves in the nervous system. Neuroscience has taught us that if we feel physical pain, a part of our brain gets stimulated, which is the same part that gets activated when we see someone in distress. Science has proved that our brain is hardwired in such a way to feel for the experience of others.
Does Corporate Altruism Work?
Psychological research has shown that employees who seek to help others in need and support their teammates without expecting anything in return feel a greater sense of happiness and contentment in their lives. It has been proved that supporting teammates at workplaces is integral to personal growth and creates a friendly environment that allows people to feel to find purpose and meaning in their lives. It is personal experiences that play a far greater role in shaping the human mind. Corporate altruism can further boost self-esteem, which may improve people’s readiness to engage in a variety of activities and approaches. Framing the mindset of helping others fills us with optimism, happiness, and contentment. These three factors play a crucial role in boosting productivity and efficiency at workplaces.
Building An Altruistic Corporation
The altruistic corporation is a corporal belief that sets the stage for social value at its core. Many companies have altogether balanced the need for their business to thrive stronger and be profitable, with the core principle of improving conditions in society. If corporations are to be successful in the future, the overall sense of altruism is needed to achieve growth. The companies of the future are loaded with opportunities for bringing resilience to this competitive world by making sure that the society in which they are flourishing is strong and resilient. They are capable of dealing with social issues such as inequality, climate change, mental health, and poverty. The more value they deliver to their surroundings, the more are the chances of their business flourishing!
Are you looking forward to enhancing the productivity and efficiency in your workplace by building a culture that gives your employees happiness and at the same time, providing them with a meaningful purpose in their life?
If yes, and you are also looking for a partner to foster strong corporate relationships, CSR or humanitarian activities, connect with us to schedule a meeting and build tailored activities that go hand in hand with your company’s morals and vision!