Surviving the Great Resignation with employee volunteering

Surviving The Great Resignation with employee volunteering

20 August 2021

You may have heard news of what the media are coining ‘The Great Resignation’ recently as employers around the globe are experiencing a mass resignation from staff in 2021.

Millions have already handed in their notices, with a Microsoft survey saying that 41% of workers are considering quitting and reports that over 4 million people left their jobs in April this year, leaving job vacancies in America at a 20 year high! (4 Million Americans Quit Their Job in April, a 20-Year Record (

Why is everyone quitting their jobs?

If the pandemic did one thing for the world of work, it was to make employees reevaluate what they really want out of working life.

Poor work-life balance, no structured employee wellbeing plans, lack of supportive company culture. It’s over. The Great Resignation is proof that employees have had enough of being treated more like work machines than individuals.

During the pandemic people could view their employer’s values in the cold light of day, asking themselves: does my employer have values that are important to me? Does my employer respect me and my wellbeing?

For many people, salary expectations were suddenly knocked off the top of the priority list as people were looking to work for businesses with a supportive and considerate company culture.

Why you should encourage employee volunteerism

Employee volunteering is an underrated and versatile tool which can help companies better connect with communities, support employee wellbeing, build a positive company culture, and ultimately help future-proof their business. It can provide a structured way of giving your employees the things that are important to them.

Reduces feelings of stress

Giving people time off to do something that’s important to them can provide some much needed respite from a busy workload. Volunteering is a great way to take a meaningful break and has proven mental health benefits, including reducing feelings of stress and overwhelm and increasing the sensation of fulfillment.

74% of people say they feel more fulfilled when their employer gives them the opportunity to make a positive impact. Allowing employees time for a breather can help the work performance and leave your people feeling happier at work.

Introducing a volunteer policy gives structure to the activity and makes it an in-built part of your corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. Let employees know how much work time they can give and show your support for it, so people can engage with CSR without feeling like they have too much on their plate.

Let your employees know you value things other than profit

More and more, people are wanting to work and buy from businesses that have an active involvement in their community, and that are living out their purpose, rather than just the money-makers. It’s a well-known fact that consumers are choosing to buy from companies that are purpose-driven and it’s the same with employees.

Employer branding is important for attracting and retaining the best talent. In a world that values social action highly, offering employee volunteering as an employee benefit is likely to appeal more than Friday drinks or an office pool table! A flexible volunteering programme shows that the business sees their employees’ whole-self and supports their individual interests.

Creates an emotional bond between employee and the workplace

83% of millennials report they would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues, so social action is important. Shared experiences connect us with the community and are a great bond-builder between colleagues and management. A team volunteering day might give staff the chance to create connections with people in the business that they might not normally interact with.

Sharing positive experiences with your team is a great way to help encourage loyalty. Volunteering also allows people to give back in a way that they choose and will help employees to see their bosses as a broker between them and the causes that are important to them.

Build a good reputation, inside and out

To futureproof your company in the face of mass resignation, it’s important to think not only about retention, but about your reputation both within the company and externally. In the midst of the Great Resignation, it’s a candidates market., so an employer’s offering has never been more vital. One of the biggest reasons that people are handing in their notices in droves is that their employer doesn’t respect their choices or how they work best whether that is remote or in office, flexible working hours or strict structures.

With offices closed and many companies turning to virtual or hybrid working, the ping pong table and free tea & coffee just won’t cut it as a ‘perk’ anymore. Giving a benefit to your employee that carries a bit more substance is an important way to establish your business as a great place to work.

Sound good?

Employee volunteering brings countless benefits, and not just for the charities and its service users! The benefits to both employers and their employees can help fortify your workplace culture and ensure that employee wellbeing is put at the forefront of the business. If you want to know more about employee volunteering, book a call with our Business Engagement Manager Sarah.

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