For many corporations, volunteering is an afterthought, but instead, volunteering should be a priority because of the unique advantages. Volunteering looks differently for each business, and volunteer efforts range from a company-wide volunteer day to allowing employees a set number of paid hours to volunteer in lieu of work.
Foundations have been established to award grants for businesses that have employees who volunteer on a regular basis, and some corporations have even started offering volunteer sabbaticals for employees. Some companies have partnerships with specific charitable organizations while other companies allow their employees to volunteer with any charitable organization.
No matter how your Employee Volunteer Program (EVP) is structured, the important aspect is having a functional EVP so your employees are able to make a difference. Here are five reasons your company should encourage employees to volunteer:
1. Defines Your Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has an important impact on your company both now and in the future, and consumers and stakeholders are concerned with the impact your business has on both the environment and society. CSR is specific to each company, and most corporations choose issues that hold value to them or their industry.
In addition to showing commitment, having a reputable CSR will allow your business to establish government relations, show passion for issues, and display company values to society. A well-developed CSR offers many benefits including public relations and media visibility.
Every corporation should spend time developing their CSR because it allows their employees to engage in the community and build a stronger society by addressing social problems.
2. Redefines Your Company’s Image
In today’s society, image is everything, and giving back is a wonderful way to improve your company’s image for both consumers and employees. Consumers are driven to support companies with a strong CSR, and the more visible your volunteer efforts are, the more improvements your rankings will see.
Along the same lines, products that give a portion of the proceeds away will sell better even if they are more expensive than competitors’ products. By improving your company image, both consumers and stakeholders will be more inclined to invest in your business. Even competitors will view your business as a leader because you offer both time and resources to serve others.
Employees want to work for a corporation that is focused on more than the bottom line and increasing profit margins. As an employer, you need to perform compassionate acts so your employees will view you as human and considerate of others. This will help lower employee turnover and increase employee morale.
If your employees see you trying to make a difference for others, they will be more driven to work harder. Having an EVP and service projects could be an incentive for new employees, particularly with millennials.
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