5 Reasons Why Employee Volunteering Is a Smart Investment
Employees impact every facet of an organization. The most valuable part of a company is the people—the human capital—and any plans to move business forward have to start there.
According to a recent survey, nine out of ten (89%) working Americans believe that companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those who do not. Seventy percent of respondents say that volunteer activities are more likely to boost employee morale than company-sponsored happy hours, and 77% say, “volunteering is essential to employee well-being.”
Implementing an employee volunteer program is a great way to do good in the community while providing a rewarding experience for employees. Here are five major reasons why offering a quality volunteering opportunity is a smart investment for employees and an organization’s bottom line.
Enhanced Company Culture
A company is very similar to a family. It is comprised of a group of people who support each other’s goals. While there are sometimes disagreements, there are also moments of triumph. Through it all, communication is key. Ninety-one percent of us spend 30 hours or more a week with colleagues. Yet, we often know little about them outside of their role at the company. An employee volunteer event is a great opportunity for co-workers to engage with one another in a new way. On a day-to-day basis, they may not always have time to develop and nurture positive relationships. Volunteering as a team gives employees the chance to connect and find commonalities. This can, in turn, improve communications in the workplace, enhance the overall company culture and boost morale.
Attracting the Best Talent
Good pay and benefits are no longer the only things that attract quality employees to an organization. Top talent has their choice of well-paying jobs. Today, a high value is placed on the importance of social responsibility. Millennials, in particular, are passionate about where they work. A recent study found, “rather than salary and benefit packages, millennials are asking about a company’s corporate social responsibility. In fact, nearly 50% of interviewees from the millennial generation will raise the issue of CSR during the interview or hiring process with a potential for-profit employer.” Further, 75% of millennials reported they would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company.
Increased Employee Happiness & Productivity
There is evidence that people who are happy are more productive at work. Now, being happy is dependent on many factors that a company cannot control. However, a company can offer the chance for employees to engage with one another and help their community. Volunteering can be both a powerful and fulfilling experience. Further, helping others actually makes us happy. When we help someone it triggers a release of oxytocin (a chemical that boosts our mood) and also counteracts the effects of cortisol (the dreaded stress hormone). Interestingly, the higher your levels of oxytocin, the more you want to help others. When oxytocin is boosted, so are serotonin and dopamine. Ultimately, doing good is actually good for your mood!
Improved Brand Perception & Increased Revenue
Offering an employee volunteer opportunity can improve and develop brand perception. An employee volunteer event offers new visibility for an organization by placing representatives out in the community. Consumers will associate the organization with the good work they do. Organizations that take a public stand and work to solve an issue in the community are powerful. A recent study showed that Americans expect companies to report on their responsible business practices and are inherently skeptical of what companies are doing to benefit society. In fact, they won’t believe a company is striving to be responsible until they hear information about positive efforts.
Once an organization acquires great employees, it takes constant effort to retain them. High-quality employees are hungry for opportunities to learn and utilize skills outside of their daily routine. For example, we know that everyone benefits from utilizing communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. These all come to the forefront during a volunteer event. Volunteering can also present a great opportunity for employees to take a leadership role and to network. These skills and opportunities are directly translatable to the workplace. According to a United Health Group study, 87% of respondents said volunteering has developed their people and teamwork skills.
Employee volunteering is a smart investment because it checks many boxes. Volunteering benefits the organization at a cultural level, and is a proven way of bringing employees together while improving the communities in which they work. However, developing an employee volunteer program is no easy task. It takes a lot of coordination and background knowledge to be successful in this space. Are you interested in learning more about Operation Warm’s Employee Volunteer Program? We’d love to hear from you.
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