Employee Volunteering: Why is it Important for Business?

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Traditionally, companies attract employees with perks like high salaries, gym memberships, bonuses, concerts, and additional treats, all aimed to keep employees satisfied and content at the workplace. However, young employees, especially Millennials and Generation Z employees wish to give back to society and many of them expect their employers to provide them with the time and resources to do so. And actually, there are some important business benefits that can be generated from such activities, highlighting the importance of volunteering both for the employees and for companies:

Increase of brand awareness and pride at work

Brand awareness can be achieved in multiple ways. Billboards, ads, and additional ways but one of the most efficient ways to achieve brand awareness is through employees themselves. Employees who are allowed to volunteer at work are proud to spread the word among friends and family, thus increasing your business exposure and brand awareness, without spending a single penny on advertisements and slicky PR agents.

Moreover, and as social media is so important for brand awareness nowadays, employees will probably share their experience from volunteering days with friends and among other peers, thus attracting additional talent to your company.

Increased retention and satisfaction at work

Several studies were held recently to examine the influence of volunteering on employees. One of the main outcomes resulting from the engagement of companies in employee volunteer activities is greater retention and satisfaction of employees from their workplace. As such, employees who are engaged in volunteering activities within their workplace are more likely to show deeper commitment and connection to their workplace and stay there for longer. In fact, companies who already allow their employees to volunteer during work, report lower rates of sick leaves and greater satisfaction, motivation and morale among employees who wish to work for companies that give back to society and support their values.

Moreover, allowing entire teams to volunteer together strengthens their sense of commitment to each other. Engaging in volunteering activity together, as a team, creates stronger bonding and support among the team members, during the activity itself and afterward while performing their daily tasks as a team at the workplace.

Empowerment, new skills, and development

Volunteering does not only help your company in terms of retention, commitment, and brand awareness. It can also help your employees to gain new skills, to develop at work and to feel empowered, sometimes like no other task at work can do. For example, instead of dictating the type of activity, its place, and the NGO you will be volunteering with, try to delegate the preparation for the volunteering activity to employees themselves. By doing so, they can feel empowered and satisfied. Moreover, different volunteering projects can lead employees to develop some new skills, such as organization, strategic planning, management, and even softer skills like compassion and listening.

The development of these skills can be beneficial for employees obviously, but also for the company. For example, certain employees might develop new leadership skills that you couldn’t identify at work. As such, the volunteering activity can help you also to discover future leaders at your company in ways that could not occur otherwise.

To conclude, volunteering activities are beneficial not only for employees but fore and foremost also for companies. It helps them to increase their brand awareness, improve the motivation among employees and achieve greater long-term retention. In addition, it can lead to better teamwork and allow your company to discover its future leaders. It’s a real win-win situation for all!

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