Kambeo Hubs - Coming Summer 2022

How To Start An Employee Volunteer Program In 5 Steps

By launching an employee volunteer program, your company can significantly impact the community and be a force for social good.

Employees want to take pride in where they work; 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 take pride in where they work, they must reach their full potential.

So, what can organizations do to help employees reach their full potential and achieve a maximum level of pride? By starting an employee volunteer program.

Let’s explain how to develop one. The steps are straightforward, and if done correctly, a volunteer program is bound to resonate well with your employees.

How does an employee volunteer program improve morale?

In every team leader’s mind, improving employee satisfaction and attitudes towards work is always a priority. As high employee morale equates to increased productivity, team leaders should look beyond compensation, job safety, and career development to find tactics to help their team members find more meaning in their jobs.

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 with giving back to the community will help employees develop a more positive attitude towards their jobs and feel more satisfied in their careers.

Now that you know a little about how an employee volunteer program improves morale, let’s dive into how you can implement a program of your own.

1) Assess the interest of your employees

It is quite simple to find out what your employees think about volunteering by distributing surveys, ensuring that participation will be high if you create a volunteer program for employees.
Here are some questions you can include in order to assess your employees’ interest in a volunteer program:

  1. How important is volunteering to you?
  2. Do you currently volunteer? If so, how often?
  3. How supportive would you be of your company starting a volunteer program?
  4. How many volunteer days would you want to take part in each year?
  5. Do you believe that volunteering supports long-term personal growth?
  6. Would you be interested in joining a committee to identify and plan corporate giving efforts?

Download our employee survey template here >>

2) Discover causes

Once you’ve assessed employee feedback and decided that there is a desire to create a volunteer program, it’s time to choose causes your organization will support. These causes should align with what your employees want to support and are also consistent with your company’s values. 

Volunteer software tools are the most effective resource for finding meaningful causes, with hundreds of options in the database. Both employees and team leaders can have access to these tools, having the ability to choose causes they want to support.

After individuals search through categories—such as education & research, health, and social services—and then select a cause, nonprofits with volunteer opportunities will be identified for them to immediately contact.

A list of causes to help discover volunteer opportunities
Ability to find volunteer opportunities by category

Searching by category provides new volunteer opportunities, based on personal areas of interest, for individuals to connect with who don’t already have a designated nonprofit in mind they would like to help.

3) Form nonprofit corporate partnerships

The next step to implementing an employee volunteer program is forming nonprofit corporate partnerships. From the nonprofits you discovered in your search, choose 2-3 at first that you think would be the most beneficial to partner with.

When companies partner with nonprofits, achieving their social missions and volunteer goals become effortless. A partnership also provides access to various volunteer opportunities, making it easier for employees to participate year-round (with several selected nonprofits) and stay engaged in a volunteer program.

Here are some tips for creating and maintaining strong nonprofit corporate partnerships:

  • Set clear expectations for both partners (i.e., what you expect from the nonprofit and what they expect from you and your employees)
  • Maintain ongoing communication via email, chat, etc.
  • Encourage all participants to share ideas and offer suggestions to improve the program

4) Allocate designated volunteer days

You can take all the necessary steps to set up a volunteer program, but without the participation of your employees, it won’t result in much success. To maximize participation, companies are encouraged to give employees 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 sufficient time to:

  • Form close connections with causes
  • Find new interests & passions
  • Improve personal development skills i.e., organization, teamwork, leadership

5)  Monitor results

Collecting and monitoring volunteer data helps you to assess how your employee volunteer program is progressing. Like any other program implemented in the workplace, tracking results is crucial to determine what areas need improvement and what works well.

The following are some specific metrics to monitor:

  • How many employees have volunteered in the last month/quarter?
  • How many total volunteer hours have we accumulated?
  • How many causes have we supported?
  • What types of causes have we supported?

With more than 70% of employees now demanding social responsibility from companies, why not start your journey to becoming more socially conscious with an employee 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, loyalty, and reliability.

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