It’s hard to ignore the major shifts in the labor market happening recently. In what’s being called the “Great Resignation (or, the “Big Quit”), 20 million U.S. workers have left their jobs since April. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the economy has seen labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and an epidemic of burnout — all of which impact company morale.
Employee turnover is at an all-time high, as these changes have been hitting the workforce hard. There’s a cultural shift happening, too: more and more, workers are seeking employers that prioritize their wellbeing and share their personal morals. One strategy HR teams all over the world are embracing to boost employee engagement, productivity, and retention is incorporating a commitment to volunteering into company practices.
With a remote or hybrid workplace increasingly becoming the norm, companies are challenged to find new, creative ways to support their employees and foster a healthy company culture. Plenty of members of today’s workforce are combating ongoing feelings of loneliness — as of February, 36% of all American adults felt feelings of severe loneliness and 43% of young adults reported increased feelings of loneliness since before the pandemic.
To combat isolation, consider encouraging your employees to commit to consistent volunteering together. Volunteering creates an opportunity for organic team building and bonding that would otherwise happen near the office snack pantry, but in a way that actively helps the world.
Creating relaxed spaces where employees can connect over doing good together is just one reason to incorporate volunteering into your typical operations; it also helps people feel grounded in their community, both within the office and at large. A commitment to giving back is something that would benefit any company, but with the ongoing retention challenge, it could be a meaningful way to show employees you value a well-rounded workplace.
The past two years have brought a myriad of social movements to the forefront of the national conversation, and increasingly, employees are looking for jobs where their employers’ values match their own. People, and particularly millennials, want to work somewhere socially and environmentally conscious that actively contributes to the world at large.
An ongoing commitment to volunteer work — perhaps even on company time — is one way to show workers that you take their interests and passions seriously. Workers are more likely to remain happy and fulfilled when they work somewhere that grounds them in social good.
Prioritizing volunteerism can directly help retain employees. You’ll also appeal to a broader, more progressively-minded talent pool. Corporate social responsibility is on the rise and the most competitive employees are often opting for roles where they can use their talent for good.
Embrace the positive social changes and show your workforce you truly care about their passions by incorporating volunteer activity into your operations.