Written By: Michelle Knight, Senior Associate
It’s amazing how quickly priorities change in the light of significant events, such as the pandemic we are all experiencing now with Covid-19. Day to day business has been disrupted across the globe and almost everyone is reflecting, and possibly rethinking, about how our lives may be lived out differently going forward. It has me certainly rethinking my own priorities; and as I reflect, I cannot help but be moved by the many stories I hear of people serving people. I cannot help but notice that ‘serving others’ has become one of the more prominent priorities across the globe.
While ‘giving’ often comes with expectations of getting something in return, ‘serving’ is quite different. Serving comes from somewhere deep down in the heart and is typically provided without any expectations attached. During this COVID-19 crisis, so many people are serving others by donating, delivering food, delivering protective gear, distancing, disinfecting and offering whatever special skills, talents and passions that they have in order to help those in need.
Serving is an integral component to the very fabric of our being. There are a multitude of studies that highlight the many health benefits that come with serving others. For example, Science Daily highlights the research of Dr Suzane Richards at the University of Exeter Medical School who found that serving was “connected to lower rates of depression, higher reports of well-being and a significant reduction in mortality risk.” Studies have found that, within organizations, employee volunteer programs actually increased both engagement and productivity across the company. According to Gallup, “organizations that are the best in engaging their employees achieve earnings-per-share growth that is more than four times that of their competitors. Those in the top quartile of engagement realize substantially better customer satisfaction, higher productivity, better retention, fewer accidents, and 21% higher profitability.”
Difficult times, like we are facing with this pandemic, tend to bring out more clearly, our individual values. Some people are trying to figure out how they can benefit and profit from the epidemic while other people are trying to figure out what they can do to help others. I do believe, however, that most of us have come together with an increasing desire and sense of purpose to serve one another.
I find myself reflecting as to whether we will sustain this servant mindset once the worst of this disaster is over. I do hope we continue to tap into our sense of abundance and overflow and give more of ourselves and our talents. We need to find ways to continue the momentum of being in service everywhere we are.
This is precisely why I am partial to the mission of ‘SERVE2PERFORM’. For this organization, ‘service’ is not only a part of our core values but we also know that “serving others develops social capital which is the real source of influence, agility, and opportunity” in the world. This is transformative, because I believe it is when we all have a shared sense of identity, understanding and commitment, that we can truly begin to make a real difference in the lives of other human beings.