Mary E. Parsons

Benefits of Having a Volunteer Program: The Basics

When crafting your corporate goals, take into consideration the benefits of having a volunteer program. It makes sense to concentrate on employee retention to increase engagement through programs such as volunteering.

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Why Volunteering Is Important

According to Cone Communications, by 2020, millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce. Among the millennials surveyed, 64 percent stated they consider a company’s social and environmental commitments before they take a job.

The benefits of a volunteer program include encouraging commitment in your employees as well as building teamwork and cooperation skills. Deloitte’s 2017 Volunteerism Survey showed that corporate volunteerism can improve morale in the workplace and boost a company’s reputation.

An employee volunteer program can be developed in conjunction to your wellness goals. Leverage the skills present in your workforce to maximize ease of participation. Look at volunteer opportunities in your community and form a committee to contact organizations to determine specific needs and ways to participate.

How to Entice Your Employees to Volunteer

Encourage your employees to volunteer through paid-time off and flexible scheduling to ease any time constraints. Volunteering is a good way to relieve workplace stress by allowing your workforce to focus outside of their job.

Sponsor community volunteer opportunities by providing workers financial and technical support. Having your company name out in the community lets your customers know you’re committed to them.

Examples of volunteer opportunities could include:

  • National organizations – There are many volunteer opportunities available, ranging from building houses to charity walks and bicycle rides. These organizations have larger infrastructures and could be a seamless way to increase volunteerism at your company.
  • Pro bono services – Providing assistance to the underserved population of your community lets your employees extend their skills beyond the workplace.
  • Community-based projects – Check with your community and see if there are projects that need attention, such as adopting a park and transforming one into a useful recreational area.
  • Food banks – Food banks are ideal spots to start a volunteer project. They always need donations and people to work in the background. Sponsor a food drive and commit to a time when your employees will work at the facility.
  • Childhood needs – Help to fight childhood hunger by being involved in a backpack program. Filling a backpack with food to provide a family or school supplies helps support a child. Besides needing the backpacks, the programs need volunteers to fill the packs and get them to locations for distribution. Another childhood need is clothing, and your company can sponsor a collection of gently used clothing for distribution to shelters.

Many of your employees may want to volunteer but don’t have time in their busy schedules. An employee volunteer program provides them the opportunity and means to give back to the community. The benefits of having a volunteer program will be felt through increased energy within your workforce and goodwill within your customer base.

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