Employee Volunteering & Company Culture: A Love Story

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This is a guest post by our friends at YourCause.

The top factors in choosing to apply for a job have pretty much remained the same: salary, job stability, career advancement, blah blah blah…. that is, until recently.

As millennial’s flood the job market, their attention to happiness in the workplace is catching on and companies are taking notice. That “feeling in the office” or “work vibe” is an outcome of the company’s culture, and it’s vital to attracting and keeping top talent.

So how do we create a happy, healthy, company culture? Studies by Cone research show that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one important way to attract and engage employees:

  • 74% of employees say their job is more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact at work
  • 62% of millennial’s are willing to take a pay cut to work for a responsible company (vs. 56% U.S. average)

Positive Impact at Work + Responsible Company = Corporate Social Responsibility!

Many companies have realized that having an Employee Volunteering Program positively affects their employee engagement.

These ‘feel-good’ experiences provide a meaningful way for employees to put their abilities to use, and studies have shown that the benefits of volunteer programs go even deeper than that. According to Doing Good is Good for You: 2013 Health and Volunteering Study from UnitedHealth Group:

  • 78% of people who volunteered in the last year reported lower stress levels
  • 76% say that volunteering has made them feel healthier

Happy, healthy employees are more engaged, tend to work harder, and are more likely to stay at their company when they feel their talents are being used and their passions fulfilled– all components of a great company culture.

The Benefits of Workplace Volunteer Programs are Not a One-Way Street

And employees aren’t only ones who are benefited from volunteering. Businesses are seeing many positive impacts when they coordinate volunteer programs for their employees. Some of these benefits include:

  • Leadership & Skills Development
  • Team Building
  • Employee Recruitment
  • Improved Public Reputation
  • Stronger Community

Applying It to Your Company Culture

What is an Employee Volunteer Program?

Employee Volunteer Programs can come in all shapes and sizes! Here are some examples of how to apply employee volunteering in your company:

  • Volunteer Campaigns:  Company-wide volunteer effort that consist of company sponsored volunteer events
  • Dollars for Doers: Companies provide grants to nonprofits on behalf of their employee volunteers
  • Volunteer Time Off: Providing employees with a couple of hours, or a day, to independently volunteer for a cause they care about

Any one of these options is best coupled with an online volunteer database and tracking tool, such as YourCause’s CSRconnect platform. This allows you to not only collect the data around your company’s impact, but more importantly, share it with your employees, stake holders, and community.

Getting Started with Employee Volunteering Programs

The first step to starting any new company program is to figure out your budget, then you can get creative.

Consider starting with a Volunteer Time Off program or single day of company-wide service. Once you have the first event under your belt, employees will start to generate buzz – use this momentum to recruit “volunteer ambassadors” or employees who are passionate about volunteering and willing to help you scale up.

And if you’re ready to go all in, consider getting a dedicated CSR platform, because these enable employees to create, find, and log volunteer events for maximum impact.

The benefit of volunteering for employees and companies is real, but the true beneficiaries are the people being impacted. Providing a helping hand to others is a tangible way to bring people together and create a stronger community.

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