As organizations look for new ways to attract new talent, retain employees, and keep engagement levels high—workplace volunteering has become more prevalent.
For instance, as of 2021, 18,000 Starbucks employees have volunteered in over 8,500 projects across the United States. Additionally, Deloitte takes part in workplace volunteering through its annual IMPACT Day, in which employees join forces to support their local communities.
As an influx of companies are introducing volunteering into the workplace–and achieving notable results–we break down some trends in the world of workplace volunteering that should be noted in order to excel at giving back.
1) Virtual opportunities
In today’s current landscape, many employees work remotely from areas outside of heavily populated metropolitan cities. This means that in-person volunteer opportunities might not be as prevalent; however, your employees can still contribute their time, skills, and expertise to nonprofits and charities through virtual volunteering.
It is the organization’s responsibility to secure a volunteer platform that facilitates the matching of employees with virtual volunteer opportunities. And with many nonprofits and charities leveraging volunteer platforms to reach a wider audience of changemakers, opportunities for remote volunteer work are abundant.
Whether volunteering consists of tutoring students, providing graphic design expertise leading up to a charitable event, or offering emotional support to isolated seniors in long-term care homes, employees can still make a difference thanks to the rise in digital connectivity.
2) Volunteer time off
In addition to introducing a volunteer platform as a means of connecting employees to opportunities, companies are also offering volunteer time off. In fact, 60% of companies currently offer paid time off so that their employees can volunteer.
VTO (volunteer time off) allows employees to take time away from their daily work responsibilities to engage in meaningful volunteer work. When a company offers VTO, they are demonstrating its commitment to social impact and employee well-being.
- Social impact: The term social impact encompasses any activity from volunteering to donating to fundraising. Whether a donation is made or a volunteer day is held, societal needs are both addressed and improved.
- Organizations can claim their commitment to social impact through social media posts or a dedicated landing page on their website. However, it is through the actions of an organization–and the contributions of its employees through paid volunteer days—that social impact is demonstrated.
- Employee well-being: To retain top-performing talent, employees need to be physically and mentally healthy. Volunteer time off enables employees to take a day away from their screens, and instead, spend time creating a positive impact in the communities that continue to support them. Employees will feel refreshed and accomplished after a paid volunteer day, leading to higher productivity and morale.
3) Volunteer grant programs
On top of offering employees paid time off to volunteer, another incentive to further encourage workplace volunteerism is a volunteer grant program. Under this program, organizations provide monetary grants to nonprofits and charities where their employees volunteer. Not only do these financial contributions recognize employees’ volunteer efforts, but the receiving nonprofit or charity now has access to additional funding.
Companies that offer a volunteer grant program understand that hard work needs to be recognized and rewarded, not just pertaining to an employee’s day-to-day responsibilities. As employees continue to be a driving force behind the improvement of their communities through volunteer work, grants are provided by their organizations to show their authentic support.
For instance, 40% of Fortune 500 companies are offering volunteer grant programs. As an example, for every hour an employee spends volunteering, Google will provide a $10 grant to the corresponding charity or nonprofit that the employee volunteered for. The result? A spike in employee volunteer participation. When employees feel proud to give back and are supported by their employer, they will continue to volunteer long-term.
With 77% of employees believing that volunteerism is essential to their well-being at work, workplace volunteering will continue to be adopted by organizations of various sizes over the coming years. Whether your organization is thinking of starting a company volunteer program, or in the stages of finalizing the details, these three workplace volunteering trends shouldn’t be overlooked.
Looking to introduce volunteering to your organization? Learn how Kambeo can help connect your employees with individual opportunities, organize company-wide events, and monitor your employees’ collective impact.