As businesses become increasingly global, they are constantly on the lookout for methods to align their corporate volunteering initiatives with their worldwide presence and the growing societal concerns. Corporate Volunteering (CV) initiatives have become a critical component of any progressive company's corporate citizenship/CSR strategy.
Multinational firms devote a large amount of effort and resources to deploying employee volunteers around the world. In recent years, a variety of international corporate volunteering (ICV) initiatives have evolved, with an estimated 40% of major corporations sponsoring employee volunteering activities around the world.
The practice of engaging employees in volunteering initiatives in countries other than the company's headquarters country is known as international corporate volunteering, or ICV. “Local service” is when employees based outside of the headquarters of their company contribute their time and efforts to their local communities, and “cross-border volunteering”, is when employees travel abroad to volunteer. These are the two main concepts of ICV.
Rapid job-hopping is most common among millennials, but it has also become more common among Generation Xers and Baby Boomers, particularly in Silicon Valley, where new data suggests that the term of office for employees at ten large tech companies has been only one to two years.
One of the best and most socially conscious solutions to employee turnover is to get them involved in employee volunteering programs. According to a recent survey, 55 percent of respondents claimed that a company's involvement in philanthropic activities was a key factor in deciding whether or not to accept a job offer. The appeal stems not only from a desire to help others but also from a belief that a company that is active in doing good would have a better work environment.
We have shortlisted some best practices that can be implemented into the development and implementation of your ICV programs to help boost the impact of international corporate volunteering:
- Prioritize Goals Over Titles
Determine the business motives for volunteering and then create programs to meet those objectives. Identifying the appropriate business objectives is crucial whether organizations engage in ICV for broad motivations or strategic aims. While all forms of motivation are vital, businesses must determine what motivates them to work and then create programs and outcomes around that.
- Select an ICV model
Based on your level of experience with international programs and your desired presence in a target country, choose between the two operational models: cross-border or local service. Local fellowships could be implemented by companies with a larger local presence in strategic locations and a strong culture of volunteerism. A cross-border strategy with a low resource investment is ideal for companies that may not have much international experience yet want their staff to benefit from cross-cultural chances. By employing a virtual volunteering program for your cross-border approach will make your program even more cost effective.
- Leverage a skill-based approach
A Millennial Project report found that 97 percent of respondents said they would prefer to volunteer their professional skills and abilities. Many firms treat volunteering as a special project rather than a team-building program that is aligned with the company’s business goals. Allow employees to put their skills and knowledge to good use. Experts from the multinational consulting business that have been able to generate loyalty through their social impact programs, sent professionals to underdeveloped countries to apply their talents to projects operated by NGOs or government agencies.
- Proactively form partnerships
Partnerships can provide access to resources that a company might not otherwise have. It's critical for businesses to choose partners who have ties to the country and are well-versed in local customs and cultures. Furthermore, internal partnerships might be equally as vital as external alliances. These partnerships can be direct, that is, with the nonprofits from various countries, or a platform that can connect your company with nonprofits worldwide.
- Invest in reliable technology
International Corporate volunteering programs are generally large-scale programs that need to be organized and managed with a proper system in place. Creating and sourcing projects, sending out information about these projects to volunteers in different countries, and having policies set up for volunteering can be daunting tasks. Luckily, we live in an era where technology has a solution to most of our issues. Investing in a corporate volunteering platform can help reduce your manual work by a lot and aid in accurate data collection to share with your stakeholders.
Chezuba is a tech platform that sources virtual volunteering projects from over 95 countries and has partnered with more than 7000 nonprofits for your employees to volunteer for. If your organization wants to take a skill based approach to volunteering, chezuba is the right platform to partner with. Book a free demo to learn more.
To Sum Up
Many of the most successful corporate volunteering programs allow employees to use their professional talents, expertise, and experience to make a significant impact on a company's volunteering initiatives and partnerships. As companies now have a global presence, many companies are sending team members across borders either physically or by creating virtual volunteering programs that allow them to volunteer with charities and nonprofits from around the world. Use virtual volunteering as your CSR strategy and you will see a decrease in employee turnover.