Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a designated day of service to honor the legacy of Dr. King and to encourage individuals and communities to participate in service initiatives at a local, national, and global level. Serving others isn’t just an important message that supports Dr. King’s legacy; it’s also a central facet of actively creating a better world. Service builds community and encourages engagement within communities, and it gives people a shared sense of purpose. Not to mention, it feels good to do good.
At Asana, we recognized MLK Day of service by encouraging every employee—and their families and friends—to participate in an act of service. We identified champions across our company to lead this effort. They researched volunteer opportunities in different regions, and for different interests (families, individuals, specific causes), and they encouraged involvement from team members across the entire organization. They helped spread the word by making team announcements, hanging beautiful posters around the office, and posing the question “What are you doing for others?” in the weeks leading up to the day.
Here are a few photos from our initiatives:
While MLK Day marks a day for service, serving our communities is not a drop-in and drop-out effort. Having impact within a community is about fostering relationships and taking the time to discover what needs there are and how or where you can help.
There are many ways to encourage your team to stay involved in their communities year-round. Here are a few tips for helping your team get involved in—and stay committed to— service:
- Make it a group effort: Encourage teams to volunteer together through team off-sites. This helps with accountability and also contributes to team building and a shared sense of purpose.
- Provide resources: Keep a list of causes or opportunities for people to refer to so that they don’t have to do the legwork of research if they’re not up for it.
- Rely on champions: Leverage champions who are heavily invested in causes they’re passionate about as catalysts. Not only are they inspiring, they are likely already involved, and can provide guidance and encouragement to other team members.
- Empower resource groups: Resource groups may already be close to the groups they represent, and can act as champions on a larger scale. Empowering them to take on causes and participate in service is a great way to broaden the activities of the groups and build connections across the organization, as well as contribute to the wider community.
Encouraging your team to engage in community service throughout the year is an important—and effective—way to keep your teammates connected to one another, and to the broader community to which they belong. We’d love to hear how your team participates in community service—let us know in the comments!