Spread the Holiday Cheer with Employee Volunteer Programs
Nov 23, 2015
The benefits of starting a corporate volunteer program are myriad. It increases leadership skills in your core workforce, it attracts young talent and it generates goodwill among employees and consumers and potential clients, not to mention the community. What’s more is that, among other valuable benefits, corporate volunteer programs have been shown to reduce employee turnover by as much as 50% and increase productivity by at least 13%. If you haven’t yet instituted a corporate volunteer program, you might consider this holiday season as the perfect time to start! Consider the next few months your “beta” program to prove the ROI of corporate volunteerism!
Of course, non-profits and charities operate year-round and have continuous needs that organizations can fill by volunteering, but here are some great ways to kick it off during the holiday season, when almost everyone is in the mood to give.
Kick-off a year-long giving program.
Did you know that, according to a recent study, 86% of surveyed workers believe it’s important that their employer is socially and environmentally responsible? Make holiday time the right time to focus on what you will do for the next calendar year. If you’re going to match charitable giving from your employees, start with a Toys for Tots drive or a blood drive. If you’re planning on supporting community building projects, start with a Habitat for Humanity build. If you are going to create volunteer opportunities throughout the organization to help the homeless, have teams get together and serve at a soup kitchen. Whatever your goals are for introducing volunteer programs, condense into a project to give your employees a taste of what’s to come!
Feed your community.
Whether you decide to make sack lunches for those living in a local park, volunteer as a company at your local food bank, or work with a food pantry in your area to stock shelves and collect canned goods, feeding your community ranks high on the list of great volunteer work you can do with your coworkers. In fact, 77% of the millennial workforce would prefer to volunteer with their coworkers. The skills needed are basic enough that executives and interns can work alongside one another and it’s a cause everyone can get behind.
Send some Holiday Cheer!
There are always people who desperately want to celebrate the holidays, yet for some reason, don’t have anyone to celebrate with. From assisted living facilities to soldiers and medical personnel overseas, send video messages, write cards, record or sing carols or give the gift of real life conversation. 61% of Millennials want to work for a company that offers volunteering opportunities so give them some!
Zero in on a target and make it personal.
Today’s workforce wants to have a meaningful career. In fact, 53% of workers feel that having a job where they can make an impact is important to their happiness. If your company is large, have each team adopt a family and buy for them on company time. Not only will this help a family in need have a great holiday season, it will create camaraderie on teams and prove the company cares about giving back.
Help with your skills.
Volunteering doesn’t have to draw on skills you may worry your team doesn’t have. In fact, 64% of employees believe building on their strengths will make them more successful at work. Many non-profits suffer from a lack of skilled labor in departments like IT, Accounting, HR and Marketing. Take a hackathon kind of approach and pull your team together to help a non-profit of your choice operate better. Think outside the box. Could your local dog shelter feed more animals if it could negotiate better procurement deals? Could the veteran’s hall take in more donations if they set up a landing page to help them do so? People in your company have the skills these non-profits need! So get out there and use them.
See how easy initiating an employee volunteering program can be – just in time for #GivingTuesday!
Corporate volunteerism is a good idea for every business because it increases employee engagement, builds out employee skills and increases productivity overall. It also sheds positive light on corporate reputation which is important to the workforce. In fact, 86% of employees would consider leaving their current job to work for one with an excellent corporate reputation. Whether you decide to play with sick children at your local hospital, or put your grant writing skills to work for a women’s shelter, initiating a corporate volunteer program during the holidays is a great way to ensure participation, discover (and support) your employees’ capacity to give and build a program that can take your company from “my job” to “a great place to work!”