Encouragement and promotion of employee participation in community programs is one way for businesses to demonstrate their social responsibility. Employer programs that aid and support employees in volunteering, in particular, are gaining popularity. Employee volunteering, also known as corporate volunteering or employer-supported volunteering, allows employees to volunteer in their communities while receiving active support from their employers through both formal and informal policies and initiatives.
Employee Volunteer programs have been proved in numerous studies to promote productivity, employee engagement, and hiring and retention. According to a study published in 2013 by Harvard Business Review, the more employees who volunteered (even if it was on their own time rather than on business time), the better they did on job duties. It was also revealed that volunteers, at work, tended to be better citizens (helping others, voicing ideas, and so on).
Structuring an Effective Employee Volunteer program:
You are sure to come across a variety of corporate volunteer programs. Some companies allow employees to volunteer for a cause or activity of their choice, while others organize highly structured events for teams to participate in together, such as a charity run, etc. Here’s how you can design an EVP that is best suited to your organization.
- Begin with the vision and mission of your company.
Setting up programs that align with your values is an effective method to demonstrate to your shareholders, customers, and employees that you adhere to certain values and that you act on them.
When you're deciding on your fundamental program concepts, be as open and transparent with your team as possible about why you're doing it. This will assist in removing any cynicism. Demonstrate to your employees that they can rely on you for assistance in living lives that are driven by a higher purpose.
- Choosing the causes your organization will support.
There are a few ways for determining which cause to support. This can be decided in a top-down hierarchy, with upper management selecting the causes. You might also conduct a survey or speak with your employees to understand the kinds of causes they wish to support or are already supporting. The best approach is usually a mix of the two: you may have certain central campaigns focused on the causes required by upper-level management, while also encouraging your employees to decide what causes they want to support on a local and global level. Either way, make sure you have a clear understanding of why you're supporting the causes you do.
- Set clear objectives
The key to creating a successful corporate volunteering program is to set clear and quantifiable goals. Consider how your program's objectives fit into your company's overall strategy and develop metrics to help you turn these aims into measurable accomplishments.
Keep your resources in mind while you set your goals. Answer questions such as - how much time do you think you'll be able to devote to this? What is your financial plan? Etc. Implementing a best-in-class corporate volunteering program is a process; you may begin with a few projects and gradually expand your program to include more possibilities for your employees to participate and maximize your effectiveness.
- Find an employee volunteering platform to partner with.
Employee engagement is boosted by an online platform because it allows employees to join in from anywhere and track projects in real-time, even if they work remotely. It makes volunteering easy for your employees by bringing alternatives to them.
Online volunteering offers a lot of advantages such as - your employees can access and browse from a catalog of projects, you can centralize and manage the entire program from one location, and you can track the impact your program is making, and share the results with the entire company to prompt others to come on board. A partner will be able to assist you in identifying appropriate causes that are in line with your company's beliefs.
Corporate volunteering may generate significant, intangible value for businesses by increasing staff productivity, improving employee engagement, and strengthening a company's ties to the communities it serves. However, companies should avoid taking the easy way out when it comes to starting a volunteer program, such as following in the footsteps of others. Instead, they should think about their company's unique situation and capabilities, tap into their employees' passions and involvement, and create the most impactful volunteer opportunities imaginable.
Chezuba helps companies build effective employee volunteering programs via its tech-driven platform. Our wide network of NGOs lets us create opportunities for employees to volunteer on a global scale. Not only does this help create a better world, but also a great work environment. Request a demo to understand how you can create employee volunteering programs that best suit your company.