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Lending a helping hand: Getting your workforce to volunteer

Posted by Natalie Runnerstrom on 5/9/19, 10:15 AM

Between work, personal life, and your sanity it can be difficult to find time to give back, which is why volunteering programs at work can be so helpful. Corporations are the biggest sources of carbon emissions across the globe, and that's not a secret anymore.

Providing killer volunteer programs will benefit you and your employees in more ways than one.

volunteer photo for blog
Photo provided by Syda Productions/Fotolia

Retainment. People care now more than ever. We all want to make a difference and leave a positive mark on the world. Giving employees a variety of volunteer programs to dive into will make them feel like they're part of a team, creating a workforce that's proud of where they work.

handshake@300xThis is a great way to get new employees involved in social gatherings outside of the office, as well as an opportunity to make new friends in their community. 

It can be difficult or intimidating to meet people in the office, especially for younger professionals starting their first job. Moving to a new city for a job brings a lot of excitement and fear — finding the right home, a good dentist, and new friends. The rewards you'll get from supporting employees in their new job are endless.

Leadership. Your volunteer program could help form future leaders in your company. Offering a situation where employees can get as involved as they like can bring out leadership qualities, especially in your younger employees. Maybe someone suggests a new volunteer program and helps in handling the logistics of getting it set up, or organizes a large group to partake in a current program. Your program could also help someone find their new passion, taking their volunteering practices beyond your office. 

Public Image. Nearly 10 years ago, about 15% of employers offered volunteer time off (VTO). Fast forward to 2019, and 60% of millennials (who make a majority of the workforce) reportedly look for and stay with employers who offer some sort of volunteer opportunities. 

volunteer planting tree@300xCompanies are starting to take social action more seriously. That 60% is growing, and how the public views your company truly matters. Your integrity is now more visible than ever. 

Cisco allots 5 VTO days a year for employees to decide exactly how they want to give back. This shows how the company is committed to being a part of the community and making staff feel like they're part of a team that cares about giving back. 

While we're on the subject, aligning your actions with your company values will only continue to solidify your public image. Employees from Salesforce say their corporation's VTO program makes them feel like they can trust executives because they put "their money where their mouth is." 

How can you get started? Ask what charities or programs they're interested or passionate about — giving your staff a voice builds loyalty and camaraderie. A Gallup study found that companies keeping their employees engaged achieve four times more earnings-per-share than their competitors. High engagement has also lead to better customer relations, higher retention, increased productivity, and 21% higher profitability.

So grab that shovel, organize a blood drive, get your employees involved in an abroad program — there are so many ways to give back and levels of involvement that can fit into any company's schedule!

Topics: Workplace, Employee Experience