Many U.S. organizations support employee volunteerism by offering paid time off for volunteer work, or through financial support for a particular nonprofit initiative. Companies that make this commitment are not only helping communities, but they also are promoting employee and business growth. Some of the benefits include:
- Skills Development. Employees who are involved in volunteer organizations and efforts have an opportunity to develop new skills, such as event management, fundraising, team building and managing diverse groups. Also advantageous is that these skills are developed in real-world situations rather than in hypothetical training sessions.
- Business Development. Volunteerism enables employees to expand their circle of contacts, and some of those contacts may become prospective clients. Furthermore, since employees and the people with whom they volunteer have shared interests, the cultivation of these contacts occurs in a more natural setting than it would in the business world.
- Employee Engagement. It feels good to help others. Many people in the business world have a cause of particular interest to them, whether it is human rights, the environment or animal welfare. If their companies support such involvement, employees will feel good about themselves and their employers. Such positive feelings, in turn, lead to increased motivation and engagement.
- Employee Health. Substantial health benefits can correlate with volunteerism, according to the Corporation for National & Community Service, which reports that those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. A healthier workforce translates to reduced absenteeism and greater productivity.
- Reputation for Corporate Social Responsibility. Most people, given a choice, would prefer to buy a product or service from a company viewed as a good corporate citizen. Some companies even require their vendors to demonstrate some form of corporate citizenship. Therefore, it is good business sense for a company to be perceived in that favorable light by its stakeholders and customers. Some businesses organize and sponsor company-wide volunteer efforts. It is also perfectly acceptable to allow employees to organize their own efforts on an individual basis, as long as the employer supports the efforts financially or allows employees to take time off for community involvement.
Volunteering is not only a feel-good endeavor, but it also makes good business sense from an employer and employee perspective. Companies that enable, support or participate in volunteer efforts encourage employee engagement and promote employee health, which can result in increased productivity. They also enhance their reputations for corporate citizenship.
Article provided by Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 27 years. Insperity provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity™ Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization™ solution. Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2012 revenues of $2.2 billion, Insperity operates in 57 offices throughout the United States. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit www.insperity.com.