Why volunteering talks should be part of employee onboarding

4 reasons why volunteering discussions should be part of employee onboarding

22 October 2021

From setting up keycards and email addresses, to meet-and-greet sessions and office tours, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to employee onboarding. But have you ever thought about how an employee volunteering programme can be a helpful addition to this process?

Recently, one of our business members, Morton Fraser, told us they had been using the Social Good Connect platform as part of their onboarding process for both employees and graduate trainees in order to get to know them better and help them get to know each other too.

Here’s why bringing employee volunteering into your onboarding process can be a useful tool!

1. Attract and recruit people who appreciate your culture

Right from the recruitment stage, discussing your company’s employee volunteering policy can be a great way to learn more about interviewees, and attract people who believe in your values and will fit in well with your culture of giving.

Whether they’ve volunteered before or not, if they’re enthused by the idea of lending their skills for good and if your company values include ‘passion’, ‘commitment’, ‘innovation’, ‘empathy’, or ‘teamwork’, then they’re likely to be a good fit!

Equally, if those qualities are important to your company and the interviewee shows a clear disinterest in employee volunteering, it might be a good indicator that they’re not the best fit for your culture

2. Get to know the whole person

Talking about your tailored employee volunteering programmes can also be a helpful icebreaker during early onboarding conversations.

The HR team at Morton Fraser ask new hires during their induction period what skills, interests, or hobbies they have as a conversation starter before letting them know about the Social Good Connect platform and encouraging them to create a profile. 

They shared that this helps them to get to know their employees beyond their roles within the company and provides a great reason to reach back out to them at a later point. It’s an ideal way to open a conversation about the company’s strong volunteering culture and encourage new potential hires to think about how they might contribute.  

It’s always worth keeping a note of the skills and interests that new joiners mention during this conversation. It means that later you can point them in the right direction for lending those skills and experiences by highlighting a volunteering role that might appeal to them on the Social Good Connect platform or other volunteering software.

3. Team bonding

Employee volunteering is a great team building and development tool for graduate trainee programmes.

Coming into the world of work straight from university can be a daunting experience, especially now that hybrid and work-from-home teams are more common. It can be difficult to get to know your new colleagues and gain a basic understanding of office dynamics when everything is alien and especially when everything is online.

For companies that host graduate traineeship programmes, a team volunteering day can serve as a welcoming and purposeful way to bring graduates together, especially if they work across different departments with less natural opportunity to interact.

While it is, of course, important for them to form bonds with their colleagues across the company, creating connections with peers at a similar stage or on the same programme can be a real confidence boost for some.

4. Upskilling for graduates (or anyone!)

Employee volunteering is a fantastic way for employers to build experiential development into an employee’s workplan.

Skilled volunteering means working with new people in different organisations and departments outside work and allows employees to develop more varied skills and experience than their everyday role can provide.

Whether someone has been in posts for five months or five years, applying their existing skills in new and different environments beyond their normal role is a valuable learning experience.

Read more about more benefits of skilled volunteering here.  

Ready to get stuck in?

If your company is going through a period of growth and employee volunteering sounds like a tempting way to inject more energy into your onboarding process, get in touch with us to learn more about how Social Good Connect can help.

Or join our community to receive monthly updates on all things social impact and positive leadership.

Written by Betty Henderson

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