What can organizations do to help employees reach their full potential and achieve a maximum level of pride? Start an employee volunteer program.
Employees want to take pride in where they work and what they do; to walk away each day with a sense of accomplishment, success, and fulfillment.
These feelings that embody one’s sense of pride can, of course, come from positive recognition and the establishment of healthy workplace relationships. However, for employees to truly be proud of who they work for and what they do, it is imperative they realize (and reach) their full potential through volunteer experiences.
That’s where a corporate volunteer program comes in. With the assistance of your organization, employees can connect with individual volunteer opportunities in their area or participate as part of a team in a company-led volunteer day. Regardless of the way in which they volunteer, employees will come out of these experiences with a newfound sense of pride.
Let’s explain how to start an employee volunteer program in five simple steps:
How does a volunteer program improve retention?
By integrating volunteering into a workplace program, you give employees a chance to contribute to something greater than themselves.
It is not often that an employee’s interests and passions outside of work can be brought into their professional lives. With an employee volunteer program, employees are encouraged on behalf of their workplace to take action, seek meaningful opportunities, volunteer over time, and make a difference.
The sense of accomplishment and personal development that comes from volunteering boosts employee morale by 70%. And, higher morale reduces employees’ likelihood of searching for another job by 59%.
Now that you know how an employee volunteer program improves retention, let’s dive into how you can implement a program of your own:
How to start an employee volunteer program
1) Assess the interests of your employees
You can easily find out how your employees feel about volunteering by distributing surveys. Involvement in a volunteer program will be higher if you create a volunteer program that meets their expectations and interests.
Here are some questions you can include in a survey to assess your employees’ interest in a volunteer program:
- How important is volunteering to you?
- Do you currently volunteer? If so, how often?
- If a volunteer program was implemented, how many volunteer days would you participate in?
- What would encourage your participation in a community giving opportunity?
2) Connect employees with causes
The most effective way to connect employees with nonprofits & charities is through volunteer software. Below is an example of how volunteer software can be used among your employees:
- Employees can select a focus area that aligns with their values (i.e., children & youth, education & literacy, disaster relief, etc.).
- Upon selecting a focus area, all nonprofits and charities (causes) related to that focus area will appear.
- Employees can follow any cause they choose and then browse through volunteer opportunities within those causes to apply.
3) Host company-led volunteer days
Your employees have found volunteer opportunities to take part in individually, but your organization can aid in increasing participation across its volunteer program through company-led volunteer days.
Let’s suppose Company ABC has maintained a nonprofit-corporate partnership with Going Green, a nonprofit focused on creating a healthier planet. After two months, Company ABC decided they wanted to execute a company-led volunteer day, doing a beach clean-up day on account of Going Green and enlisting the support of their employees. The volunteer day resulted in a 78% employee participation rate, and each employee volunteered for a total of 6 hours.
Even if your organization hasn’t yet formed a nonprofit-corporate partnership, there are still plenty of corporate volunteer opportunities that can be executed as a team. All it takes is reaching out to a local nonprofit or charity in your area. Once contacted, work with that charity or nonprofit to organize the basic logistics of a volunteer activity that a group of your employees can help out with.
For example, if you reach out to a local women’s shelter, ask if they need any assistance sorting and folding donated clothes for redistribution, then gather a number of your employees to go out and participate in this meaningful activity.
4) Allocate designated volunteer days
You can take all the necessary steps to set up a volunteer program, but without the input of your employees, it won’t result in much success. To maximize participation, equip your employees with paid time off to volunteer throughout the year.
Giving employees one day per quarter is a great starting point. One volunteer day per quarter gives employees an opportunity to:
- Form close connections with members of nonprofits & charities.
- Develop new interests & passions outside of work.
- Strengthen relationships with colleagues.
- Improve professional skillset, i.e., organization, teamwork, and leadership.
5) Monitor results of an employee volunteer program
Monitoring volunteer data helps you track your employee volunteer program. As with any other program implemented in the workplace, tracking results is crucial to determine what has worked and what needs to be improved.
The following are some specific metrics to monitor:
- Number of employees who have volunteered.
- Amount of causes supported through volunteering.
- Total volunteer hours employees accumulated.
- Number of volunteer applications submitted by employees.
With more than 70% of employees now demanding social responsibility from companies, why not start your journey to becoming more socially conscious by creating a volunteer program? Improve your social impact by enabling employees to get involved in social good initiatives through volunteering.
When you follow these five seamless steps, your volunteer program will allow employees to reach their maximum potential and feel a greater sense of pride at work. The type of pride that leads to a stronger work ethic and loyalty.
Start your employee volunteer program using Kambeo. Kambeo connects your employees with causes and lets them discover volunteer opportunities while enabling you to track the results of their efforts.