With our hectic work schedules and family obligations, it can be hard to make time for volunteering. But for Assisted Living team members who care for residents each day, caring for the community-at-large is often a natural fit. The Spring 2015 issue of CALA News & Views profiled MBK Senior Living‘s employee volunteer program, which stems from a unique philosophy:
MBK’s philosophy, yoi shigoto, means “the good work” in Japanese. It comes from MBK’s Japan-based parent company, Mitsui & Co., which describes yoi shigoto as “work that is: (1) beneficial to society; (2) useful and value-creating for our customers and partners; and (3) a worthwhile challenge for each employee.” While the philosophy is foundational in various aspects of the company’s work, MBK especially seeks to implement yoi shigoto by inspiring employees to give back to their greater communities.
According to Robin Craig, Corporate Director of Marketing, it’s the company-wide dedication to this “good work” that makes volunteering a special experience for MBK’s associates. Recently, home office associates spent half a day volunteering at a food bank. While their time was spent working to help others, it also indirectly turned into a teambuilding exercise. Since many of the home office associates travel among MBK communities on a regular basis, the volunteers in attendance don’t have much chance to spend quality time together. That day, they got to work alongside each other in a fun way and become better acquainted. The experience ended up successfully benefiting the food bank while strengthening connections between MBK employees at the same time.
Robin also explained that yoi shigoto is a central part of company retreats. After discussing yoi shigoto, retreat attendees do something together as a team in the spirit of the philosophy. During one corporate retreat, team members provided donations and made improvements to a women’s shelter. The retreat attendees were separated into a number of teams that each had a wish list of items to purchase and bring back to the shelter to put away and organize. One team purchased storage bags and boxes to organize and store children’s bedding and birthday decorations. Another purchased a toy shed, assembled it, and organized and repaired the outdoor toys that they placed within it.
And this good work continues…Robin Craig recently wrote to let us know about a new volunteer project undertaken by the MBK team a couple months ago. “MBK made playhouses with Habitat for Humanity for San Diego kids as part of our annual retreat,” she said. “65 people helped out and MBK donated $13,000 in addition to constructing the playhouses.”
Thank you to the MBK team who are working to make their community-at-large a healthy home for all. As many Assisted Living providers know, volunteer programs enhance employee satisfaction and positively impact the care provided to residents. A volunteer program for employees can be cultivated in many different ways, but the overall benefits are consistently widespread.
This post was excerpted from an article first published in CALA News & Views Spring 2015: Teams Work.