Employee Volunteer Programs

Did you know replacing an employee can set a company back more than three times the employee’s annual salary? According to a Gallup report, people moving from job to job can cost the overall economy more than $350 billion every year. In the same report, 71% of American workers stated that they were not engaged in their current work position. If you are not actively developing engagement in your company, you are at risk of losing these employees and paying the high price of employee turnover.

There are thousands of creative ideas to keep employees engaged in the workplace. More companies are discovering that adding volunteer work to their recognition programs is a great way to boost workplace morale and encourage engagement. How does volunteering boost morale in the workplace and increase engagement?

Providing Meaningful Work: Employees feel a sense of purpose when their company gets involved in the community. They feel more positive about the company they work for and are more likely to support the cause if they see where their volunteer efforts make a difference outside of the office. This translates to attitudes in the office and gives employees a renewed appreciation for the importance of their jobs.

Builds Relationships and Boosts Teamwork: Volunteering together makes it possible for employees to work more cohesively. Volunteer groups often have set goals and a clear mission. This attitude translates into the workplace environment and employees are more encouraged to work together to accomplish set goals that improve the company as a whole. Having the opportunity to work together outside of the company allows employees to get to know each other on a more personal level. They learn more about each other’s values and communication styles. Volunteering together teaches teams of employees to get along and maintain a positive attitude when it comes to sharing ideas and working together on projects.

Strengthening Skill Sets and Personal Growth: According to a Deloitte Impact Survey, 92% of employee volunteers agreed that volunteering improved their overall professional skill set and leadership abilities, 85% attested to developed communication skills, and 88% found volunteering to play a key role in building character.

Rewards and Recognition: Companies who give recognition for employee achievements are more likely to retain said employee. By adding an element of volunteerism to your company’s recognition program, you can now reward employees for the work they do outside of the office. Recognizing employees for their volunteer work brings the good feelings full circle. Employees find meaningfulness in the causes the company supports, they learn valuable skills that translate to their job performance, and they have the opportunity to be recognized in front of their peers for their commitment to volunteering.

When employees feel connected to their company, their commitment to their work also increases. Engaged employees feel that their contributions not only benefit the overall success of the business, but extends to a charitable cause important to them.

To implement a volunteer program in your organization, you must first gain an in-depth understanding of employee passions. You also should research what needs need to be fulfilled in your community and what organizations could use your help. Your employees may be interested in volunteering for things pertaining to the environment, youth, the arts or music, and social justice. Invite your employees to offer their ideas and conduct research on the organizations they feel strongly about. If smaller groups can be formed to volunteer for either of the choices, consider splitting projects. This way everyone has the opportunity to volunteer for the things they find most meaningful.

Finding a volunteer program that your employees will enjoy being part of starts with aligning your company with a purpose. Learn more in our Employee Engagement Ideas Ebook.

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