I have spent most of my career working for nonprofit organizations that rely heavily on volunteerism.
Because of this, I understand the importance of everyone getting involved in helping our communities and the nonprofits of the world fulfill their mission.
Volunteers help bridge the gap in human capital and bring valuable skills to the organization.
Whether the volunteer opportunity is to help the American Red Cross with disaster relief, delivering flowers to patients in the hospital, or picking up trash on the highway – volunteers help the community in a positive way.
Many organizations today have employer-sponsored volunteer programs to help employees get involved.
Many of these programs adopt a nonprofit agency that they support financially – as well as offering volunteer opportunities to employees.
These kinds of programs help educate employees on the importance of giving back to the community as well as provide opportunities for employees to help others.
Additionally, employer-sponsored volunteer programs are another way to improve employee engagement.
United Healthcare did a study among over 4500 adults over 18, some of whom volunteer and some who don’t.
There were some interesting findings of the effects of volunteering on the community, on employees who volunteer through a work-sponsored program and on senior citizens who volunteer.
The study revealed that:
- 25% of volunteers do so through their employer.
- Employees who volunteer believe more people would volunteer if their employers promoted volunteerism.
- Employees who volunteer through work have a more positive attitude toward their employer.
- People who volunteer report better physical and emotional health.
- Volunteering gives people a purpose, a more positive outlook on life and are less likely to experience isolation and despair.
- Seniors who volunteer have a more positive outlook on getting older and are more optimistic about life in general.
4 Benefits of an Employer-Sponsored Volunteer Program
1. Demonstrates Social Responsibly
We all share this same planet and it is important that we all participate in efforts to make it better.
Businesses that stop what they are doing and reach out to help their community demonstrate social responsibility.
2. Improves Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement
Employees aspire to work for an organization that makes a difference. A corporate volunteer program will help with recruitment, retention, and engagement efforts.
And while many organizations have missions to help other people, those that don’t can participate by supplying the free labor to help get the job done.
When employees are given the opportunity to give back, while at work, they are easier to recruit, become more engaged with their employer, and oh ya, they hang around longer!
3. Employees Speak Highly of Their Employer
Employees who are given the opportunity to volunteer through work talk about it.
They will share the experience with family and friends and give credit to their employer.
And these positive employee experiences will also improve the customer experience, which ultimately affects the bottom line.
4. Great For PR and Marketing
Organizations that have a strategic approach to public relations and marketing, understand the value of giving back and use volunteer opportunities to highlight their visibility in their community and use it to draw attention to their products and services.
These are remarkable findings that should be enough incentive for businesses to develop an internal volunteer program.
There are many resources available to help organizations identify volunteer opportunities and create structures to get their employees involved.
Volunteer Match is a great resource to find volunteer opportunities.
It allows you to search by location or interest and has tools to help employers track volunteer hours and engage employees.
The needs of our communities are ever increasing and it is essential for all of us to give back.
Developing an employer-sponsored volunteer program can be the first step in educating employees in the significance of giving back, improving employee engagement, and ultimately improving the bottom line.
Does your organization have an employer-sponsored volunteer program?