Healthy Outlook

There Are Many Benefits to Employer-sponsored Employee Volunteerism

Creating a Win-win-win Situation

By Chelsea Cox

Employer-sponsored employee volunteerism has always been an effective way for companies and organizations to engage their employees by supporting their involvement in the community through volunteer opportunities. And with the far-reaching impact of COVID-19, nonprofit agencies need assistance now more than ever.

Indeed, now is an excellent time to rally your team together to support local organizations.

These opportunities can be as simple as a donation drive for food and supplies, or can be more involved, such as a corporate Habitat for Humanity build. There are endless possibilities to get involved in the community, and many nonprofits need help to support their mission. Employer-sponsored volunteerism is beneficial for everyone involved, including employers, employees, and the community. It’s a win-win-win situation.

Demonstrating Social Responsibility

Companies and organizations should demonstrate interest in the communities they serve. Corporate social responsibility is a type of international private business self-regulation that aims to contribute to societal goals of a philanthropic, activist, or charitable nature by engaging in or supporting volunteering or ethically oriented practices. This demonstration sets the bar for corporate behavior and also invests in the social and economic ecosystems of the communities where the business is located.

Brand Awareness and Positive Brand Perception

Companies that actively participate in volunteerism can benefit from brand awareness and company recognition. When consumers associate a company with the good they are doing in the community, brand perception increases. Simply put, customers want to support a company that is involved and gives back to the community.

Chelsea Cox
Chelsea Cox

“Employer-sponsored volunteerism is beneficial for everyone involved, including employers, employees, and the community. It’s a win-win-win situation.”

Positive brand awareness can also play a role in attracting and retaining talent. Today, employees want more than good compensation and benefits. Social responsibility and company culture have skyrocketed to the top of millennial priority lists for deciding on where they want to work. People take pride in their work and the impact that they are able to make as a whole. Employees want to be part of a company that is supporting its local community and helping to create change. They want to be empowered to support organizations and programs they are passionate about.

Improving Company Morale

Volunteer opportunities in the workplace are beneficial for company morale because employees want their work to be fulfilling and purpose-driven. Volunteerism is an excellent way to engage employees, and the benefits can extend beyond the workplace.

When employees find fulfillment in their experience with company-sponsored volunteerism, this in turn will change behavior not only at the workplace but in the employee’s personal life. Helping others contributes to happiness. Happy people enjoy their work more and are also generally more productive at work.

Stronger, More Connected Teams

Employer-sponsored volunteerism changes the culture in the workplace by bringing everyone together to share a common goal. When employees at every level of the company contribute their time to a local volunteering event, it changes the way employees view the company and colleagues in a positive way.

Volunteerism is a perfect strategy to realign employees with the company’s overall mission and to structure the vision of the company. Volunteering will also bring your employees together as a team and provide fulfillment while maximizing your impact on the community.

Further, employees will likely gain new skills when volunteering, such as empathy, teamwork, public speaking, critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership. Developing these skills among employees can be beneficial for productivity in the workplace. Promoting volunteerism provides a competitive edge for companies when hiring employees but at the same time helps in retaining talent.

Overall, company-sponsored volunteerism is a no-brainer for companies because it contributes to the strength of the organization in myriad ways: happier employees, brand awareness, stronger teams, professional development, social responsibility, better customer engagement, higher retention, stronger culture, and community support.

For best results, consider structuring a program that engages your team on a continual basis. Decide whether you will engage in weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly events. Encourage employees to participate at all levels of each initiative and empower team members to take the lead.

Chelsea Cox is a senior associate at Holyoke-based accounting firm Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.;