Over the last decade employee volunteering has become more and more important. Consumers and companies are aware of purpose over profit and organisations are prioritising corporate social responsibility. Alongside the many other benefits of employee volunteering, the news that 72% of the UK population believe that businesses should have legal responsibility to the planet and people, means that positive social impact is actually now a consumer demand.
As well as supporting the environment and developing your workforce’s skills, employee volunteering is a great way of helping you to prepare for the future while doing good in your community.
Employee volunteering is often used as a perk for candidates when applying to jobs – and rightfully so! It has such a positive impact for both the company and the individual. Many corporations and businesses have adapted to encourage employee volunteering, including Microsoft.
They began their #MicrosoftLife where they help their employees to partake in volunteering with matching programmes. In fact, in 2019 Microsoft in the US volunteered 825,000 hours to non-profits! They’re a huge corporation who are leading the way for employee volunteering.
Not only are they building on their employees skills by allowing them to volunteer but they are also adapting their services to help the non-profits that their staff are supporting, for example, one member volunteered at a farm and used their software to collect data.
Employee volunteering allows them not only to do good in the community and engage their employees in a really positive way, but also to gain unique insight into potential future uses for their products at the same time!
Another huge bonus of employee volunteering is how it allows your staff to network outside of their usual workplace. Volunteering for charities and causes that they care about encourages them to meet new people and get involved within the community.
From the company’s perspective, this introduces your passionate, capable and highly-motivated employees to a new audience of people who might be interested in working with you one day. Having this in place can help you to be prepared for the future with new projects and build on your reputation with the public.
Indeed, building a varied network can help your employees to adapt faster to change and invites new perspectives as a result of their more diversified support network
Many companies have core values, but how are they demonstrating them? A lot of companies and industries are deciding to prove their values by signing up to be a part of communities such as Certified B Corporation – a whole 3979! This means they have higher standards when it comes to social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance purpose and profit.
More and more, the public and employees are demanding more clarity and action from companies about their social impact and employee volunteering is a great way to carry this out. Using employee volunteering can show your consumers exactly how you put your values into place.
For example, if one of your values is ‘community’, adding community volunteering to your business activities will strengthen your values and show customers that you don’t just talk about doing good, you actually do it. With this, your company will be better prepared for the future as those with strong values tend to have more loyalty from not only consumers but also employees.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of employee volunteering is the potential for professional and personal development. Volunteering is a chance for employees to increase their confidence by stepping out of their comfort zone or learning a completely new skill.
Whether they are developing a professional skill or realising a personal passion, employees can have fun with their volunteering experience, meet new people, take on extra training and perhaps even travel. Building up people’s confidence and skills in this manner helps them to be prepared for future changes and adapt well on both a personal or professional level..
Employee volunteering has certainly become something which corporations are realising is very important and can help prepare them for the future. The last decade shows how massive corporations have started to pave the way for volunteering programs and the use of communities like Certified B Corporations has united industries and led to them holding themselves accountable.
Want to learn more about how employee volunteering can help you develop skills, network and build upon company values to prepare for the future? Why not book a call to find out more about how Social Good Connect can help?
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Written by Reilly Russel