Every business owner wants their business to do well- to continually increase profits and success. But today, more and more business owners are recognizing the importance of doing good. Consumers are placing increased value on companies that make an effort to give back to the community, and employers are realizing that offering opportunities for employees to give back can be very beneficial to both the community and the company. One key way that employers are giving employees the opportunity to give back is through employee volunteer programs.
Employee Volunteer Program
Developing and implementing an employee volunteer program can be difficult and time-consuming. Nonetheless, employers who put in the time and effort to develop such programs will quickly come to see that doing so is a great business investment. Here are some of the key benefits of employee volunteer programs:
Attracting top talent: Employees are becoming increasingly concerned about how the companies that they work for are having a positive impact. Millennials in particular place a high value on social responsibility- 75% of millennials reportedthey would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company.
Improved team morale: Volunteering gives employees the opportunity to connect and engage with one another in a new way. In fact, employee volunteering may be more impactful for team building than other common activities. For example, a Deloitte survey found that 70% of respondents believe volunteer activities are more likely to boost employee morale than company-sponsored happy hours. In addition, 89% of respondents believe that companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those who do not.
Professional development: Volunteering is a great way for employees to apply their skills in a new context, and to develop new skills. A United Health Group study found that 87% of respondents said volunteering has developed their people and teamwork skills.
Improved employee health and stress levels:Volunteering has been proven to have a positive impact on employees health, and to lower their stress levels. In fact, a survey found that 76% of people who volunteered in the last twelve months say that volunteering has made them feel healthier, and 78% of people say that volunteering lowers their stress levels.
Improved brand perception and corporate visibility:When a company is involved in giving back to the community, people take notice. People will associate the company with the good work they are doing in the community, which will improve the public perception of the company and draw in more customers.
The benefits of offering an employee volunteering program are clear. Here are some best practices for offering a program successfully.
Connect the volunteering opportunities to company and employee values: If the volunteering opportunities are related to the mission and values of the company, employees are more likely to see the value of the program. Employers should consider the mission of the company and try to find volunteering opportunities that are somewhat aligned to that mission and the skills that employees can offer. In addition, it can be beneficial to survey employees to find out what kind of causes they care about.
Make sure management walks the walk:Employees will be more likely to get involved in the volunteering program if they see that top management is also getting involved. Leadership should participate in the volunteering programs alongside employees to set an example and show that they are invested in the cause.
Evaluate success: Every employee volunteering program should have measurable goals. Establish metrics for measuring success, such as the number of hours volunteered or the number of employees who participate. In addition, survey employees for feedback about how the program could be improved.
Share stories: Encourage employees to share reflections and images from their volunteering experiences. This will drive employees to consider the value they’ve received from volunteering, and it will also provide an opportunity to broadcast the good work your company is doing to the community at large, which will improve your company’s reputation.
In conclusion, offering an employee volunteering program is a great way for companies to give back to the community. Beyond that, offering such programs is actually a great business investment, as it is proven to improve employee morale and health, attract top talent, and generate goodwill for the company.
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Tom DiSilva has been providing professional human resource services for over 30 years. As the CEO of Navigate PEO, he actively partners with organizations of all sizes in the Greater New England area and across the country to help their businesses grow. He has expertise in HR and Labor Management, offering guidance and support for key areas of business such as negotiations, operations management, employee coaching, and employee benefits design.