Designing An Engaging Employee Volunteer Program: A Step-By-Step Guide

July 26, 2022

The millennial generation or millennials, when entered the workplace were viewed as the generation that would revolutionize the way the common man (boomers) approached work. The millennials advocated for 'work smart not hard' and worked on leveraging technology for everything. But they were a generation that was hit with arguably the most amount of setbacks. With the recessions, inflation, and a pandemic to battle, the generation that looked forward to being the advocates of change had to first look out for themselves.  Volunteerism thus, in recent times has stagnated or is even declining modestly across society.

This employee class has no option but to rely on their workplace leadership to take the necessary steps in paving the way for them to help those in need of assistance and aid. Employee volunteerism is becoming more prevalent in the business sphere due to these demands from the employees that make up the large chunk of the modern workforce. Most corporations are also relying on these EVPs to be points for employee retention.

In reality, one of the few employee benefits that have considerably expanded in recent years is paid time off for volunteering. In 2018, 47 percent of U.S. firms provided community volunteer programs, up from 40 percent in 2014, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Large businesses have an even larger percentage. A global alliance of billion-dollar corporations called Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose estimates that 66 percent of its member companies sponsored paid-time-off volunteer programs in 2019, up from 56 percent in 2016.

In this article, we will look at what EVPs are and the best practices for designing an engaging employee volunteer program.

What Are Employee Volunteer Programs (EVP)?

An organized, coordinated effort that aims to inspire and equip workers to efficiently meet community needs under the direction of the company is known as an employee volunteer program (EVP). EVPs, which are also known as workplace volunteer programs or employer-supported volunteer programs, are frequently a part of a business's corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, community engagement program (CEP), or other programs that address the company's involvement in societal concerns.

How to Encourage Employees to Volunteer

Some companies support employee volunteerism for various causes or projects, either through open-ended volunteer initiatives or well-organized events like charity runs or house-building projects. While Covid-19restrictions have halted many typical volunteer activities, they have also sparked creative initiatives that allow employees who volunteer and employees to participate and make a meaningful impact, even during the lockdown. These innovative approaches not only help employees attain productivity but enable the company also to contribute to the community in impactful ways.

These initiatives include virtual volunteering opportunities such as teaching and mentoring young students, acting as "phone buddies" to check on seniors, running 5K races on treadmills at home, etc. Here’s how you can decide and design best suited for your organization and for the benefit of your employees.

  1. A clear goal

Companies that have successful and engaging employee volunteer programs have an operating volunteering model best suited to their business landscape and stakeholders. A strong employee volunteer program is so effective that it directly affects your financial results and return on investment.

The first step in creating an engaging volunteer program is to know what your end goal is. Once you have a definite direction and goal in mind, it will be easier for you to take the necessary steps in achieving those goals through your employee volunteer program. You need to start with a defined volunteering plan, whether it's employee engagement or a selfless desire to give back to the community that motivates you.

  1. Keep in mind all of your stakeholders

Numerous stakeholders are impacted by virtual volunteering, including employees, nonprofit partners, and investors, to mention a few. It is crucial to maintain your strategy's transparency with all of your stakeholders because of this.

Include representation from all stakeholder groups in your decision-making beginning with the planning stage. For instance, your employees will be the main moving pieces of your virtual volunteering program. They can help you in your charitable endeavors and serve as excellent brand ambassadors as well.

  1. A balanced approach

The design of your employee volunteer program will be a defining factor in how your various stakeholders view your company and organizational strategy. When designing your volunteer program you need to decide:

  • Will you be taking a skill-based approach?
  • Will you offer volunteer time off (VTO), if so how many hours?
  • Would you like your employees to volunteer in their personal time?
  • Will you go local or global with your volunteering projects?
  • Are there only specific causes you would like your employees to volunteer for?
  • Are you going to have ‘Dollars for Doers’ Grants?
  1. Impact Measurement

Due to the amount of investment of all kinds such as money, time, and other resources, having a measuring strategy in place will be crucial for accountability. Most stakeholders will require some statistics with regard to the success of your employee engagement program. The key is to know which metrics to measure.

As a common rule of thumb, metrics that are quantifiable are always the numbers displayed but for an employee-engaging volunteer program, you will need to dive deeper. Measuring the social impact of your volunteer program along with the number of hours, the number of employers who volunteered, and the amount of money your employees save your partner nonprofits.

  1. Form the right partnerships

Be it with the nonprofits you partner with for your employees to volunteer for or the volunteering platform you choose for managing your employer's volunteer program, you need to find the right fit for your organization. Your choice of charitable organizations to collaborate with is crucial. Conduct an extensive study to find reputable NGOs that excel in the cause areas of your choice.

In case you would like to evade the time required to research and find the right nonprofits to team up with plus also find a platform that can customize your volunteer platform to your specific needs, Chezuba is your go-to option.

With nonprofit partners from 100 countries globally and technology that allows you to monitor your employee volunteering program in one place, you can be assured that you will be able to host your employee volunteering program to the best of your abilities. To know how Chezuba can help you start your EVP journey or take your existing volunteer program to the next level, schedule a free demo.

To Conclude

84% of employees are motivated to perform vs 62% of employees of the companies with no community engagement. The demand from every sector of stakeholders for businesses to focus on giving back to society rather than just focusing on increasing their profits is louder than ever. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to help your employees find their purpose and a chance for your company to be more than just a corporate structure. The world needs change-makers, to be a part of those striving for a better tomorrow.

Don't miss these stories: