In Weekly Workplace Wisdom by Sarah Cantor with John Henning

This may sound strange, but one of the most important things we do as a company takes place outside our offices. Every quarter, the Granite Solutions Groupe team embarks on a volunteer effort and spends at least a half day away from emails, phone calls and cubicle walls while we give something back to the community.

Most recently, we’ve sorted food at the SF Food Bank, we’ve used our network to promote the cause of Guide Dogs for the Blind, and we’ve helped ready a room for a new family’s arrival at Family House. Though these experiences vary, they have helped strengthen our team in an invaluable way.

At the office, everyone has a role that they more or less stick to. The recruiters recruit, the account managers work their magic, and the back office provides the critical support necessary to keep things moving. When the roles are stripped away, it allows everyone to engage in a totally different way.

When we were at the food bank, tasked with measuring and bagging rice, everyone formed an assembly line and we worked together to complete a task completely unrelated to matching talented people with jobs. At the Family House, everyone from the CEO to the Recruiting Coordinators rolled up their sleeves and scrubbed a room clean, top to bottom.

And while all time spent as a group away from the office can foster community and camaraderie, there is something unique about the experience of volunteering.  There’s a special feeling you get from helping others—from working to achieve something that provides you no direct benefit or gain—and sharing it with colleagues is truly a bonding experience. No matter what our next quarter holds, it’s sure to be an event filled with laughter that will leave us connected from the shared experience.