As the labor market grows more and more competitive, many businesses are looking for innovative ways to stand out in a crowded field. In addition to traditional benefits, employers may attract candidates by implementing a corporate social responsibility strategy, including a focus on supporting and encouraging employee volunteerism as part of the broader strategy. Businesses that strengthen their commitment to the community not only help their neighbors, but also promote employee and business growth.
Here are some examples of how volunteerism initiatives can help employers of all sizes while creating memorable experiences for their team members:
Develop new skills. Through volunteer efforts, employees may have the opportunity to develop new skills or refine existing ones, including event management, fundraising or team building. Cultivating these abilities may prove useful to the company and result in additional responsibilities. Additionally, it may be beneficial for these skills to be developed through real-world situations, rather than in general training sessions.
Forge new relationships. Volunteer events may enable employees to expand their network of both personal and professional contacts, some of whom could eventually become prospective clients. These connections may be even stronger than those formed during networking events or professional outings because they are cultivated in a more natural setting through shared interests.
Boost engagement. In recent years, business leaders have emphasized the importance of employee engagement and debated how to stimulate participation among staff. One way to boost buy-in may be to encourage volunteerism and provide opportunities for staffers to get involved in their community. By supporting this involvement, businesses may foster a stronger connection between their employees and the overall company, leading to increased motivation and engagement among employees.
Develop a positive reputation. Earning the reputation as a company that actively demonstrates its core values and helps employees embody those ideals can be beneficial for both sales and recruiting. Many consumers, if given a choice, may prefer to buy a product or service from a business they view as a good corporate citizen. They may also favor companies that mirror their own beliefs and support causes that are close to their heart. Additionally, publicly aligning with positive values may help attract like-minded applicants for open positions. Therefore, it could make good business sense to be perceived as having a strong understanding of corporate citizenship by stakeholders and customers.
Volunteerism is not only a feel-good endeavor; it can have a variety of positive effects and make business sense from both the employer and employee perspective. Companies that enable, support or participate in volunteer efforts can encourage employee engagement and development, which can result in increased productivity and commitment. Businesses may also enhance their reputation in the community, which can be advantageous during hiring or new business discussions.
Brett Steele is a district manager with Insperity in Orlando, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 33 years. Insperity provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance.