The Austin business community has experienced unprecedented growth in the last ten years. We, the business leaders of today, will shape the workforce in Austin for the next thirty to fifty years. This is both a privilege and a burden. It is imperative that we emphasize community involvement within our businesses and therefore ignite a greater love for the City of Austin and our related region.

Recruitment and retainment are two of the largest issues in the Austin job market, especially considering the explosive growth in this region. All businesses search for engaged employees who fit well within the company’s corporate culture. Ideal employees should personify the values of their workplace, live up to his/her employer’s expectations, represent the company well, and find contentment in their employ. How do businesses create a corporate culture that values employees’ talents, and encourages social contribution, thus creating the best work environment for those ideal employees?

The answer is surprisingly simple:

Embrace community engagement as part of a business model.

Employees want to know if their employer seeks success measured by means other than profits, such as the business’s level of social engagement. Businesses of any size can promote a culture of community engagement in a variety of ways, starting as simply as mentoring future employees. This can begin with speaking to high school and college students who seek guidance in potential career fields, from STEM to humanities to trades. It falls to us as current business leaders to communicate with these students and share our valuable experience with them.

It is essential that businesses, especially new businesses, incorporate community engagement into their business plan. An increased rate of investment in community engagement will result in greater profits, happier employees, and greater social responsibility. Expanding our business plans to include community engagement is essential to the success of both our businesses and community.

By promoting a culture of community engagement, we set examples within business leadership to train future generations of leaders who will devote time to service outside of work. Doing this also creates a workforce where everyone is invested in their community and will inherently provide a greater return on investment in our employees. Setting the standard of business plans to include community engagement creates a workforce that is focused not only on profit, but also on service. Volunteering in our community builds better cities, and a stronger business community.

Engaging in our community allows businesses the opportunity to experience firsthand the needs of our diverse and growing cities. Understanding these evolving needs will truly prepare us to adapt our products and services for both the present and the future. Community engagement is essential to shaping Austin’s successful growth, both professionally and socially.

A socially responsible and community-minded business will continue to be the great trend for the 21st century. It is imperative that we as business leaders promote businesses that feel responsible for our community’s success. We can also encourage healthy and interesting competition among our businesses to better advertise the success of our great cities in our region. By fostering community engagement, we are creating an environment that is a true win-win for our cities and our productivity. We will see greater positive visibility, broader brand awareness, and enjoy amazing returns on our investment in and for the greater Austin community.

Investing in Austin will greatly benefit our business community, now and in the future. By promoting a culture of community involvement, we are investing not only in our cities but also in the type of businesses that will attract a motivated and successful employee. Community engagement is necessary to our region’s bright future and economic success. It is a marvelous time to be an engaged member of the dynamic, socially conscious Greater Austin business community.

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Members' efforts are highlighted on our news page, and our community events feature webinars and other resources available to our business community.

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