When employees see that you support causes they care about, they feel more satisfied in both their work and personal lives. In turn, this can lead to better work performance and skill development.1 Put a volunteer program in place and encourage your employees to join. You will satisfy their desire for more meaningful work and see a welcome boost in morale.
Here are a few tips to start a community service program:
Learn what your employees are passionate about. Gain an in-depth understanding of your employees’ passions as they relate to their communities’ needs and the volunteer opportunities they are looking for.
Know the types of volunteerism. You and your employees will be able to make a more informed choice about what opportunities to pursue. Types include:
- Direct person-to-person volunteering involves direct interaction with the people you are helping. Examples include, serving people staying in a homeless shelter, being a mentor to a young person or visiting seniors at a nursing center.
- Non-skills-based community work includes activities such as cleaning a park or helping build a new home for a family.
- Skills-based volunteering uses a person’s professional knowledge to help the community.
- Public advocacy volunteering uses talents and training to work on an issue that is of public interest or concern.
Empower employees to choose their cause. Consider putting together a task force of employees who can help decide what organizations to support, how to drive participation and when volunteer activities should take place. You will want to get employees energized and excited about a volunteer opportunity. Giving them ownership of a volunteer program and getting input about what they want to support are key factors in driving engagement.
Fan the flames of volunteerism with ideas. Some of the choices you can offer employees cover a wide range of interests including:
- Environmental causes
- Youth mentoring
- Literacy tutoring
- Arts and music programs
- Social justice and legal advocacy
Think small. Split up and form small groups of volunteers so everyone can participate in a particular cause or at an organization that interests them. Creating teams also encourages employees to get to know one another outside of work.
Volunteering promotes caring, skill development and leadership, which lead to personal and professional satisfaction. With the promise of greater productivity and improved morale, volunteer programs are a winning element to add to your business.
1"How Volunteering Builds Quality Employees and Company Morale." CEOWORLD Magazine. August 14, 2017. Accessed September 11, 2018.