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Endless Love: The Countless Benefits of Employee Volunteerism

The facts are hard to ignore: promoting and providing employees with meaningful volunteer opportunities helps to attract, engage, develop and retain top talent. Additionally, you boost your public image and improve the bottom line. Studies show that employees who volunteer are more loyal to their employer, proud of their company, more likely to recommend their company to a friend and positive about their work culture.

Volunteerism impacts business success

Tim Mohin, CEO of Global Reporting Initiative, writes in Forbes: “More engaged employees make for more profits. Companies with highly engaged employees have three times the operating margin and four times the earnings per share of companies with low engagement.”

Still, many employers and employees may be missing opportunities to reap the benefits of volunteering in the workplace. Deloitte’s 2017 Volunteerism Survey of working Americans found that creating a culture of volunteerism boosts morale, workplace atmosphere and brand perception:

  • 89 percent believe companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those who do not.

  • 74 percent think volunteerism provides an improved sense of purpose.

Why is there so much love for volunteerism? The reasons are nearly endless:

  • To help others

  • Give back to the community

  • Passion for a specific cause that’s close to the heart

  • Opportunity for fellowship with others

  • Build your professional resume

As corporate America realizes the power of workplace volunteerism, how can organizations better harness these innumerable benefits?

  1. Know the facts: Millennials are more likely than other generations to research the issues a company supports and the extent of its contributions. Make your efforts highly visible across your website and social channels.

  2. Avoid an all or nothing approach: While some companies have formal programs, others let employees follow their individual passion for volunteering. For example, Mercedes-Benz USA offers an array of volunteer opportunities for their employees. Each year employees are given paid time off to volunteer – one day for teambuilding and another to volunteer at a nonprofit of their choice.

  3. Use volunteerism to help build leadership skills: Some companies are facing the pressures of creating more cost effective training programs. Volunteer opportunities can help build leadership skills, grow team work abilities and strengthen relationships.

  4. Customize volunteer efforts to align with your company’s purpose. SunTrust’s purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. The company provides a day of paid volunteer time with an organization that advances financial education, plus a “day of purpose” for employees to focus on financial tasks they’ve likely put off – to help themselves or others.

It’s obvious that people love to give back to the community. If you’re an employer, why not channel volunteerism to enhance a win-win culture for your company. If you’re an employee, leverage your talents and opportunities for good!


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