March 3, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven how isolating a world without human interaction would be. Mental health strain and feelings of hopelessness were evident during the extended quarantine. Now that many employees are back in the office, it’s essential to maintain and exceed the engagement level that was once restrained.

Volunteering and charitable contributions are fun ways to increase employee engagement, while positively impacting local communities. Many businesses are investing time and money to charitable work. According to the Employee Benefits Report by Society for Human Resource Management, 21 percent of companies have programs that allow their employees to be paid for volunteering their time.

Empowering employees to give their time and effort to causes they feel connected with can harness a sense of belonging and a stronger connection to their workplace without worrying about monetary loss. Volunteering can also improve employee leadership skills and team morale.

“With employees spending so much time at work these days, [employee volunteer programs are an] important opportunity. It’s proven to be even more important for the millennial generation,” explained Katherine Smith, executive director of the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College. Smith also noted that companies with employee volunteer programs have lower turnover rates.

Job seekers consider a company’s role in the community when applying. In Deloitte’s Millennial Survey, 61 percent of millennials stated that an employer’s involvement within the community would influence whether they accepted an offer or not.

The benefits of volunteering in the workplace extend further than employee retention. Sharing your company’s philanthropic involvement and experience can be a great way to market to potential clients and employees.

How can companies jumpstart their volunteer engagement?

Volunteer Time Off

This allows your employees paid time off specifically for charitable involvement. Let the employee choose where to donate his/her time.

Employee Volunteer Programs

A customized volunteer program, an EVP is built within your company or organization. Creating a volunteer program allows a company to strengthen its values while serving the community.

Sponsorships and Drives

When the busy season hits and it’s not feasible to get out into the community physically, sponsorships and charity drives are convenient, helpful ways to contribute. By sponsoring events and organizing clothing, food or other resources, you can still foster that sense of community and goodwill within your company.