Company culture is important for any organisation, and cultivating a strong company culture can bring a whole range of benefits to your business and employees.
Some businesses mistake company culture for fun activities and freebies for their employees, and while this can contribute to employee wellbeing, it is so much more than this.
It’s a term that is interpreted differently from business to business, which is why every workplace has a unique working environment. But we think the best way to describe it is:
The ethos of an organisation, created by a shared set of values and behaviours that flow through an entire business and are embraced by employees at every level.
Values and behaviours can range from sustainability and education to accountability and integrity, and everything in between. The values you build depend entirely on the type of culture you want to create; whether that be casual and relaxed, a culture of giving back, or one that focuses on innovation and collaboration.
Organisations with good company culture are home to employees who embrace the company’s values and incorporate these behaviours into every action they take at the workplace.
A strong company culture plays an essential role in any business; it improves employee wellbeing, job satisfaction, staff retention and inspires your workforce to recognise the value of their work – all of which help make your company more successful!
But it doesn’t only benefit businesses. People want to work for organisations, where the company culture resonates with their own values. You will often find that employees who can relate to their employer’s ethos will enjoy coming to work, be more productive, and create better relationships with colleagues.
It just so happens that the benefits of a strong company culture are very similar to the advantages of volunteering. So we want to explore how incorporating employee volunteering into your business strategy can create a positive company culture.
Every volunteer will tell you how good it feels to give back; it bestows a sense of fulfilment and purpose. When your employees volunteer together, they share the fulfilling experience of helping their local communities and they’ll see first-hand the positive contribution they have made to society. Through facilitating these volunteer opportunities, your employees will be proud to be part of a company that considers the greater good, not just their bottom line.
An example of this is O2’s Think Big Scheme, where employees participated in volunteering activities to support young people. A survey showed that over half of the employees who took part felt more positively towards the company as an employer.
If you build a culture that your employees want to invest in, and create values that they will embrace – they’ll become one of the reasons your employees clock in every day.
Aligning your volunteering programme with your company values will encourage your employees to get involved, and create a more meaningful volunteering experience. It helps your workforce realise the bigger picture, which can be easy to forget when you’re concentrating on workloads and deadlines.
So, what are your company values and is there a volunteering activity that fits your ethos? For example, a business that focuses on building sustainable futures could contribute to conservation projects that transform green spaces to benefit local communities and the environment.
Employee volunteering gives your employees a chance to enforce company values in an informal setting. Working together to achieve a common goal can improve your employees’ ability to demonstrate your company values and contributes to a stronger company culture.
Teamwork is a value that many businesses rely on, and we all know that communication is essential for effective collaboration. So it’s no surprise that poor communication is one of the telltale symptoms of negative company culture. Volunteering is a great way to combat this.
A company-wide volunteer initiative enables your teams to interact with colleagues they don’t otherwise get the chance to socialise with. Working together to improve other people’s lives enables your employees to build stronger, deeper relationships than they would in an office environment – they get to connect on a human level. The ‘in this together’ attitude created through volunteering strengthens cross-departmental relationships by improving collaboration and problem-solving.
Volunteering is also a great way for people to pursue and develop their own passions and this is something that many employee volunteer programmes overlook. One-off team volunteering activities are all well and good as an occasional team building activity, but generally this style of support is not what charities are actually looking for, and it leaves no room for your employees’ individual preferences.
Giving employees time to volunteer and encouraging them to support the causes that matter most to them means a lot more than a generic team activity!
Volunteering can help strengthen your company culture through creating better workplace relationships and transforming your business into a place where employees love to come to work.
If you want to begin an employee volunteering programme, please get in touch with us – we would be happy to help!
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Written by Holly Moore