I happen to believe helping the less fortunate is a moral imperative. I also believe the only way to be truly happy and fulfilled is through service to others. And as the leader of an organization, Hyland, with a team of thousands living and working in communities all around the world, I believe that if we benefit from our communities, we should feel obligated to contribute to their well-being.
Of course, even if I didn’t feel this way, there are strong business reasons to get involved in the community. Like so many technology companies, Hyland relies on engaged employees to drive product innovation and provide exceptional customer service, so we make it a priority to provide an environment where employees feel a sense of purpose. Since Hyland’s founding as a family business more than 25 years ago, one of the things that has always mattered most to our employees is caring for one another and our communities. That’s why we’ve taken an employee-driven approach to community engagement.
Engagement boosts retention
If we can facilitate employees’ involvement in causes that matter to them, then they’re more likely to want to remain here. So we offer paid volunteer time off, nonprofit organization board matching to align skill sets and interests with local organizations, and gift matching to make employee donations go even further. Our Hylanders for Hylanders program enables employees to make charitable donations to assist co-workers in times of need.
The vast majority of our community engagement — like the Hy-5 road race we host with MetroHealth and our Adopt-a-Family campaigns — takes place with organizations where there is a direct employee connection. They volunteer there, they donate to the nonprofit, or they’re on the board.
Supporting the causes that employees care about also helps us foster a culture of teamwork and collaboration. We do everything in teams — it’s the way we work. Volunteer projects like our Summer of Service event, where hundreds of us tackle projects for nonprofits around town, or our Hy-Tech Outreach programs, where we teach computer science skills to local students, help develop camaraderie and mutual respect within our teams.
Service supports leadership growth
Community engagement helps develop leaders. We encourage our executives and managers to serve on boards of nonprofits as a way to exercise their leadership and strategic thinking in a different context. It’s also a chance to work with and learn from other leaders around the community.
I’m constantly inspired by the passion my fellow Hylanders show for engaging in and enriching our community — not just here in Northeast Ohio, but radiating from our offices throughout the U.S. and around the globe. It’s an honor to support them across the many impactful organizations and causes they care about. And it’s been good for business, too.
Bill Priemer is president and CEO at Hyland