What are the benefits of corporate volunteering? You may immediately think of the good done in local communities. That was certainly the first thing in our minds when we first started offering this benefit to our employees in 1989! Tom’s of Maine employees can spend 5% of their paid work time volunteering. For most that means up to 12 hours a year supporting local land trusts, schools, parks, soup kitchens or other causes they are passionate about. Their stories help to reinforce exactly how rewarding this benefit can be.
Research has shown that there are numerous advantages to instating a volunteer policy. Here are five benefits of corporate volunteering that show it isn’t just good for communities, it’s good for business.
- Recruiting strong employees. As a whole, the millennial generation wants more than good pay and benefits – they want to work for a company that shares their values. In fact, a study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business showed that many would be willing to give up 14% of their expected income to work for “an organization with a better reputation for corporate social responsibility and ethics.” Volunteering programs are a great proof point of shared values.
- Make people aware of your business. Good PR is another benefit of corporate volunteering. Local news outlets are often looking for stories like these. Plus, news about your company doing good things in the community is never a bad thing!
- Improving employee morale. Employees who can volunteer tend to be more satisfied with their organization, and therefore, more engaged.This is a good thing by itself, but it also has real financial returns for the company. At least one study suggests that higher engagement drives higher productivity, leading to 26% higher revenue per employee.
- Build employee skills. Volunteering enables employees to build skills they may not be getting on the job. The type of work (and therefore the skills) can be very diverse, but our employees often mention teamwork, leadership, and problem solving as skills that volunteering helped them develop.
- Do Good. While some might consider this an intangible benefit, for us it’s too important not to mention! We believe very strongly in the collective power of people to tackle challenges and make the world a better place. Nearly every day we hear from people who are putting this philosophy into action, but the biggest challenge for most people is time. Offering this benefit helps to give our employees that time, and we think the good done is worth every minute.
40% of all businesses currently offer a volunteer benefit. Is yours one of them? If not, maybe this list can help convince your HR department that it’s time to implement one! There are lots of additional articles online that help show that the benefits of corporate volunteering make it a win for communities, employees, and businesses.