Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Alice Berg. Her opinions are her own.
It’s a fact that happy employees are those who feel that they can make a positive impact on the company they work for and on the world.
Cone research shows that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a good way of attracting, motivating and inspiring workers. In view of this, we have created a guide for recruiters and hiring managers on how to create better conditions for employees with the help of implementing volunteer programs.
Volunteering can be beneficial for every company. It can be a great tool for increasing employee engagement, spreading the word about a company’s values, and making a significant influence on the world.
So, let’s take a closer look at the perks of volunteering opportunities for any organization.
1. Boosting your company’s image
Every firm is concerned about the level of stress of its workers, as it greatly affects the productivity of each individual employee. That is why the latest trend in establishing an upbeat company culture suggests implementing volunteer programs. Doing activities which benefit others is a great stress reducer. If you’re not sure whether your company could get involved in such a program, make sure you only look into those programs that reflect your company’s values and culture.
2. Engage new employees
A recent survey has shown that Millennials are not only interested in their salary but also in the impact they can have on the environment. That’s why potential new employees will always express an interest in any volunteering opportunities offered by a potential employer. Volunteering attracts new employees and often becomes a critical decision making factor when looking for a new job. These types of activities especially appeal to Millennials who love to share their ideas and activities through various media channels (posting pictures on Instagram or making YouTube videos), and this is how they engage more people by bringing awareness about certain issue to the world.
3. Involve all employees
By involving your team in certain volunteer type activities, many of you employees will reveal their hidden talents, while others will improve certain skills and develop a sense of creativity. That’s why every worker should be involved in a volunteering project.
4. Choose the best alternative
Focus on the best interests of your employees and force volunteering upon them, as that won’t be good for the company or the employees. People need to feel as if they have a choice and can decide on the corporate volunteer programs they want to take part in. Forcing a program on the staff will only be perceived negatively.
5. Make it flexible
There are many different types of volunteering programs out there, so be careful when deciding which ones to offer your team. Perhaps send out a questionnaire and, based on the results from the team, decide on the most suitable program(s) for the company.
The most popular ones tend to be:
- in-office: This type of program is perfect for those who may not want to sacrifice their weekends. With in-house volunteer programs, all the magic happens in the workplace. Employees collaborate in, for instance, the boardroom and bring some great ideas to life. They could create objects (toys, maps, cards, etc.) on their own, work on projects suggested by the volunteering organisation, or plan events.
- time off: If you’re sure that your staff can generously dedicate one day per month (which could be on a weekend) for volunteering you could consider implementing a program like this. In this case you don’t have to go into the office. Instead, they might visit (or perhaps even host) a special event, or aid on-site at a particular charity or volunteer organisation
6. Foster team building and communication
Volunteer activities unite like-minded people who work together, giving them a chance to give back to the world. The satisfaction derived from such actions can often be underestimated by HR managers, which can become a huge problem. All in all, participating in volunteering programs has become a beneficial tool for team building and is also beneficial for communication. Working together to achieve a charitable goal can bring people together and makes them interact, negotiate, come to decisions and actually get to know each other while building new relationships.
7. Improve leadership skills
People participating in volunteering events can certainly develop and build on their leadership skills. Elizabeth Dove, director of Corporate Citizenship at Volunteer Canada says that,”Giving back initiatives and a volunteer program needs to be first highly supported by leaders at the highest level of leadership”. Do not forget that for a lot of people the philosophy of giving back is essential in everyday life, and by providing them with a chance to use their work as a way to comply with it, you give them the most precious gift of understanding and support.
8. Set up long-term partnerships
It is beneficial for every company to have long-lasting partnerships with a certain volunteering organizations. When new employees join the team, the longer serving team members will share stories connected with the type of volunteering activities they’ve been involved with in the past. Partner-based volunteering programs increase the level of participation and can help inspire workers.
Give your employees the chance to be happy and motivated while they give back to the community or environment while representing your company. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.