The Case for Volunteerism: Encouraging a Charitable

By David Coons | December 16, 2013
volunteers

Company Culture

Corporate volunteer programs are not just “feel good” activities. They’re a “win-win-win” because not only does the charity benefit, but so do the employer and the employees. In the midst of the war for talent, competition for top talent is hotter than ever. Your organization’s company culture plays a key role in attracting and engaging your workforce. It can serve as a key differentiator: a position of strong corporate citizenship can demonstrate your company values, encourage comradery among your workforce, and more.

Increased Employee Engagement

Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace survey showed that an alarming 70 percent of employees are not engaged at work. Those numbers scream that something needs to change. Employers need to take an honest look at their engagement strategies and innovate.

Employee involvement in charity projects lends purpose and meaning.

Recent studies show that more employees desire meaning in their work. They want to feel they are making a difference and contributing to the greater good. When employees lose that sense of purpose, they can quickly become disengaged.

Employee involvement in charity projects can lend that purpose. Volunteer opportunities offer employees the chance to step away from day-to-day tasks and avoid burnout. It provides them with a new outlook and a renewed appreciation for their work.

Stronger Recruitment and Retention

With insurance industry unemployment rates at three year lows, top talent is becoming increasingly hard to find. Corporate citizenship positively impacts both recruitment and retention. According to the 2011 Deloitte Volunteer Impact study, 61 percent of Millennials would consider a company’s commitment to the community when making a job decision.

Furthermore, busy employees are always looking for ways to squeeze a little more out of their day. This includes opportunities to do the good deeds they might not have time for outside of work. Providing corporate volunteer opportunities offers an appreciated additional perk for employees.

Impactful Employee Development

Forward-looking companies realize that maintaining a competitive edge requires investment in their No. 1 asset: their employees. Corporate volunteering programs are an excellent way for employers to provide employee development at a relatively low cost, and in unique ways not offered by seminars and traditional trainings.

Volunteering is also known to help develop soft skills like problem solving, mentoring and communications. These unquantifiable skills give companies a competitive edge.

Positive Corporate Visibility

Finally, corporate volunteering does have very obvious financial incentives for employers: a strong corporate citizen profile raises a company’s visibility and speaks very well to its public reputation.

With engagement at an all-time low and demand for top talent at an all-time high, employers should take advantage of the benefits a strong volunteer program offers. The charitable organization will thank you, and your employees and your bottom line will thank you. What better results can we ask for?

image of David Coons

About David Coons

Coons is senior vice president of The Jacobson Group, a provider of talent to the insurance industry. Phone: 800-466-1578. Email: dcoons@jacobsononline.com. More from David Coons

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