As an employer, you will be aware that the strongest asset of any company is their people. Your team is what brings your business to life, drives forward your objectives, and provides support to customers.
So, why should you offer your employees time to volunteer during working hours?
It might seem counterintuitive to take your strongest asset away from their work but allowing employees time to volunteer is an investment in their wellbeing and personal development, and investing in your team means investing in your business.
You might be surprised to learn that there are direct business benefits attached to employee supported volunteering.
Workplace volunteering has been shown to improve employee engagement with 89% of volunteers reporting increased job satisfaction. In turn, increased employee satisfaction and engagement has been shown to boost productivity levels. It has also been reported that employer supported volunteering helps employee volunteers to develop stronger client relationships at work.
Increased employee engagement, productivity, and better client relationships? It’s a no brainer!
Recruitment and retainment
Much research has been done into what attracts employees to a company. Gimmicky perks and office happy hours are quickly becoming a thing of the past with a new generation of graduates demanding more from potential employers.
A recent Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey found that: ‘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’. They also found that employees who regularly take part in their company’s volunteering activities are more likely to feel very loyal to their organisation.
Positive reputation within the community and increased exposure
Encouraging your employees to take volunteer roles within your local community exposes your company to a whole new audience and increases brand awareness in a very positive light. It is so important to follow through with social responsibility promises as, while consumers are more likely to buy from socially responsible businesses, they are sceptical about what businesses are actually doing to benefit society.
Don’t just talk about doing good, put your money where your mouth is and support your staff to make a difference in the community
Aside from the benefits to your bottom line that come with employer led volunteering, it has many human benefits too.
The correlation between volunteering activities and improved mental and physical health has been long established. Volunteering has been shown to improve mental wellbeing, reduce stress and blood pressure, and can even help you live longer!
Allowing opportunities for volunteering should not be the only step you take towards supporting your employees’ mental health but it is a good way to get started. You can read more about this here.
A strong company culture is vital to ensuring a positive and productive workplace. Your employees are not only your strongest asset, but your greatest advocates. Treat them well and support them, and you will have a team of company champions to make PR weep with joy.
Offering flexible volunteering opportunities is an easy way to instil a more positive culture within your workplace. Another Deloitte study found that ‘nearly 9 out of 10 (89 percent) working Americans believe that companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those who do not.’
Volunteering is a great vehicle for development. It allows people to hone their skills or learn something new. Accenture discovered that 76% of employee volunteers said they developed core work skills. Giving your employees time to explore new skills and apply existing skills in a different environment not only helps them develop on a personal level, but will only make them stronger employees.
If you are interested to find out more about this topic, check out NCVO’s Time Well Spent Study for a more in depth view of the risks and benefits attached to employer supported volunteering, and please get in touch if you have any further questions!