We recently laid out seven steps to creating an employee volunteer program, but many employers are still reluctant to commit their resources to such an effort. Let's back up and discuss why encouraging employees to volunteer is a good idea.
For insight on that, we turn to Chris Martin, marketing coordinator at Charity Republic. In our new Corporate Social Responsibility & Green PR Guidebook, Vol. 7, he addresses several ways in which volunteering not only fosters a culture of compassion in the company, but is a serious benefit to employees. Here are a few of them:
1. It builds their transferable skills repertoire: Learning new skills and applying them in a hands-on environment allows greater skill development and a low-stress opportunity for employees to test out different areas of interest.
2. It’s good for their health: On top of volunteers reporting being happier and less depressed, research has shown that individuals who begin volunteering early in life have a 44% lower risk of developing age-related illness.
3. It provides employees with an intrinsic sense of accomplishment: Maybe they’re hitting roadblocks or having a tough time grasping a new strategy or piece of technology? Volunteering is a great way to earn that sense of accomplishment we all need from time to time.
4. It lets them spend quality time with their families: Employees can be willing to sacrifice a lot of time for your organization. Maybe they’re putting in overtime to meet a campaign launch deadline or attending workshops and meetings outside of work hours. Giving them time off to volunteer at events can provide an opportunity to get their family involved, which can lead to a significant increase in quality time.
5. Doing good is good for business: Employees show off your brand through everything they do. Volunteering lets your employees connect with potential customers on a human level in a way that an ad campaign never could.
6. It strengthens your community as you invest in it: Employees don’t just work in the community—they live in the community. Let them build your organization’s reputation with dignity through their volunteer efforts.
Read the full article and many more in PR News’ Corporate Social Responsibility & Green PR Guidebook, Vol. 7, which includes chapters on philanthropy and human rights communications, sustainability initiatives and reporting, and employee and stakeholder communications.
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