Engagement is pivotal to the success of productivity. It plays a significant role in corporate marketing, philanthropic and human resource strategies. According to a study by Dale Carnegie 54% of employees revealed they felt more engaged as a result their company’s contributions to society. The 2011 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey which studied millennials who participated in workplace volunteer activities, uncovered they were twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive. Volunteerism has a role in any corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. The following may help in the design of yours.
1. Get Your Leadership Team on Board
- Even in volunteerism, programs cannot succeed when leaders are not supportive, engaged, or perhaps have their own agendas. Spend time to bring leadership into the values and benefits of building a program from the inside out.
- When it comes to hiring practices, managers often feel pressured to hire aggressive “takers”, assuming they’re the real go-getters. Managers who realize value and commit to hiring “givers” can receive an enormous boost to their department’s productivity. To learn more about this concept, read Give and Take, by Adam Grant.
2. Cultural Shift
- “What you are is where you were when”, said Sociologist Morris Massey. Generational perceptions, work-style differences and personal experiences influence how employees approach a volunteerism program. Provide employees with a variety of custom tailored resources and opportunities that appeal to a wide array of people.
- Enthusiastic employees are influencers. Empower your employees who volunteer. Use their passion and storytelling to invite others to participate. These champions should ultimately lead the program. Corporate culture transforms when volunteerism becomes intrinsic.
3. Mentor Your Volunteer Champions
- Mentoring increases engagement, enthusiasm, confidence, and teamwork.
- Mentoring volunteers inspires new leadership within the organization.
- Mentoring can be done both formally and informally.
4. Build Brand from the Inside Out
- Connection with community that is encouraged and supported by the employer is natural win-win. Engaged employees will build your brand in a variety of measurable ways, including higher productivity and better customer service.
- Volunteerism lets employees build personal skills and connections outside of their normal job requirements, which grows brand loyalty.
5. Rethink Team Building and Social Events
- Instead of a round of golf or other activity, use volunteerism as an opportunity to team-build with a vetted cause.
- When asking for a donation of time outside of normal work hours, make activities family friendly. This provides employees with opportunities to teach their children and/or share an experience with their spouse or partner.
- Use corporate volunteerism as an opportunity to evangelize compelling stories. Incorporate into your marketing programs to attract new customers and inspire higher levels of talent, especially among millennials.
- Empower and encourage employees to share their stories. Find creative ways to promote volunteerism stories including social media, marketing, events, newsletters, lunch and learns, apps, etc.
Benchmark and add analytics to document your company’s progress. Consider measurements between those that volunteer and those that don’t such as:
- Skill development
- Employee turnover
- Team productivity
- Talent recruitment
- Job satisfaction
Every company has the opportunity to deepen engagement through contributions to society. Volunteerism requires strategy and thoughtful implementation. What steps has your company taken to build engagement through employee volunteerism? We’d love to hear from you.
Karen Knight, is the founder of Corporate Giving Partnerships (CGP). CGP is a consulting firm that helps companies to achieve cultural and financial benefits through corporate social responsibility (CSR). Through executive coaching, workshops, employee volunteerism and cause marketing, CGP equips companies with the tools they need to leverage strengths and create dynamic engagement. To learn more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 760.717.9685. ©2017 Corporate Giving Partnerships
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