Business publications today are inundated with articles describing how much a purpose-driven culture can enhance your employee performance and bottom line, but I recently heard that a greater mission in your life accomplishes even more. If you’re wondering where more happens, start at the brain where you currently process the logical benefits of connecting your business to a cause and head south about a foot and a half.
It turns out that people experience physical benefits associated with helping others and topping the list is lower blood pressure. Following the benefits to your heart are fewer bouts of depression, lower stress levels and a longer life.
People who donate or volunteer for various causes experience what the National Institutes of Health call a “helper’s high,” or the body’s release of endorphins when someone is in a position of supporting others.
When I was CEO at Prologis, our leadership team decided to launch community programs throughout the globe where each of our branches were located. I think we intuitively knew what it would mean for our employees’ mental attitude and ultimately our business culture, but I don’t think we ever anticipated the positive effect it was having on the physical well-being of our people. Unless, of course, you count our offices in France where they decided to host an annual cycling event to support the local causes!
All the familiar statistics about community engagement point to better retention, improved customer loyalty, better employee performance and optimized business operations. But there should be a big “and” that emphasizes the lesser-known power of a purpose-driven culture to help your people’s physical welfare. Perhaps that’s the most important statistic of all. When you take care of your people, they take care of you.
If the long list of logical business reasons weren’t enough to persuade you to engage your employees in community service, the universe is telling you that your team’s physical and emotional well-being stand to benefit as well. I encourage you to look beyond the employee parking lot and identify how you can improve the quality of life where you work and live. Service will not only elevate your employees’ collective mood and purpose-driven culture; it will have a meaningful effect on their longevity and yours.