Encourage Employees to Volunteer

January 20, 2021 | 692 views

Encourage Employees to Volunteer
Encourage Employees to Volunteer

Nearly one-third of Americans volunteer their time with formal non-profit organizations, and many more do so less formally. From classrooms to beach cleanups to coaching sports, you can see volunteer efforts throughout our communities. Generosity is one of our country’s positive attributes, and it permeates all ages and interests.

Volunteering has benefits for businesses, too. Volunteers are more engaged in their communities than non-volunteers. They participate more often in public meetings, elections, and civic development. If businesses can actively encourage employees to volunteer, those entities will receive various benefits in return:

  1. Employees are healthier. Volunteers experience less pain, stress, and anxiety while living longer and happier lives.
  2. You get better applicants. Companies that encourage community service are more desirable as employers by 61% of millennials (who also make up the largest sector of workers).
  3. Communities notice. Businesses that support their communities are appreciated. Citizens view supportive businesses positively when they develop community relationships with the people who live there.

How to Encourage Employee Volunteerism

Most volunteers spend 50 hours per year providing service hours to their preferred beneficiaries. As an organization, you can encourage participation by developing a program committed to doing good for many:

  1. Organize company volunteer events. Many companies plan quarterly events and encourage employees to participate. The non-profit could be a local group or something more specific to your industry, but develop an affiliation and make it a consistent part of your company culture and image.
  2. Allow scheduling flexibility. If taking on events is too much, then allow employees some leeway in donating their time as they see fit. Most people are involved with schools, sports, seniors, youth or religious organizations already. But you can ensure that volunteering does not compete with work responsibilities.
  3. Track hours and results. Your internal program must keep track of the hours and results of employee volunteer efforts. Tracking formalizes your business’s dedication and provides a base for comparison year over year. Schedule hours and record them by employee as you normally
  4. Recognize employee efforts. Using the data you collect, be sure to acknowledge and praise the efforts of employees. Based on the current $27.20 hourly value of volunteers, your encouragement of volunteerism has a real financial benefit to communities and service organizations. Distribute certificates of appreciation to employees, recognize efforts, and keep the good mojo going.
  5. Pay them if you can. Some companies will pay up to 20 hours per year for employees to volunteer. This might be difficult for smaller businesses, but the positive community response for that amount of payroll might be pennies compared to ads or other promotions. 

Volunteerism is important to your local community and your employees. It can make a significant positive change, and it will benefit your business, too. By encouraging volunteerism, you will do well by doing good in your community.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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