In the past few years, companies have increasingly encouraged employees to volunteer on the clock. Why? Employees are happier, they feel more loyal to their company, they have fun, and most importantly, they’re more engaged.
Employee engagement keeps workers from quitting, which can be costly in the long run. This is where volunteering and community activism comes into play. Employees have the chance to get involved in their local community, whether that is through volunteering, supporting important issues, or fundraising — while on the clock.
To implement this beneficial practice in your workplace, see these ideas below.
Hold a Company-Wide Vote
Encourage your employees to be active members of the community by having them submit ideas for organizations to volunteer with. Your employees will be more inclined to volunteer if you let them choose their own opportunities. If your workplace can only represent one organization, hold a workplace-wide vote among all employees.
Volunteer on the Weekends
There are many opportunities for companies to volunteer on the weekends all year long. The holidays often bring about opportunities to volunteer at soup kitchens, and, the back-to-school season is famous for clothing drives for children in need of new clothes.
Because Spring is fast approaching, there are plenty of walks and races scheduled all around the country. This is a good opportunity for your organization to raise money by walking or just volunteering to be an aid on the sidelines. Check out Active.com/Charitable to see what events are near you.
Schedule a Full-Day (or Half-Day) In Which Your Company Volunteers
Have you heard of VTO? Similar to PTO (paid time off), VTO gives your employees “Volunteer Time Off.” If employees don’t have the time to volunteer during the regular workweek or on the weekends, this is a perfect way for employees to feel good about giving back to their community.
“I’m a mom — a full-time mom and work full time. And so, having this added into my day has been a great thing,” said Lisa Eriksson in an interview with NPR. “When we start seeing the faces of the people we’re serving, everyone’s very happy and grateful. It’s a very human side of it. It’s pretty emotional.”
And, according to VolunteerMatch.org, reports show that giving employees opportunities to volunteer during the workday builds loyalty to their company, making them proud to work for a place with such a strong community mindset. This is fantastic news for companies looking to hire millennials, because many millennials enjoy volunteering and are more satisfied and happier with their jobs when they volunteer with their company.
If your workplace can allow it, schedule a full day or half day in which your entire company volunteers with a local organization. If you can’t possibly imagine having the entire office gone, you can implement individual VTO hours for your employees to volunteer on their own.
Can’t Schedule Company-Wide Time? Try These Smaller Steps Instead.
- Host a canned food collection. This is a great way for your employees to contribute to your community, because they can easily pick up a few cans of food during their weekly grocery store trip.
- Hold a letter or card-writing campaign for soldiers stationed overseas or for sick children in need of a pick-me-up. Employees can draft a letter or draw a card over their lunch break. Feel free to encourage your employees to be creative by supplying stickers, colored pencils, and colored construction paper.
- Gather supplies for schools in need. Budget cuts have been hitting schools hard, and many are in desperate need of basic supplies like pencils and lined paper.
However you structure it, creating a culture of community activism in your company will keep your employees — and you — happier and longer.
Stephen Koppekin is a highly qualified labor and employment specialist in all industries, with expert negotiating skills and substantial entertainment industry experience. Aside from his professional endeavors, Stephen is an active member of local charitable organizations and shares his philanthropic insights on his website.