TSI Blog

Get Candy Striping

October 2nd, 2014 by Alison McKinney

What? I hear you say.

Ok, we’re not suggesting you encourage your employees to go and work for nothing at the local hospice (though that’s not a bad thing…), but how about this idea to help boost employee engagement in your organisation – introduce a Corporate Volunteer Program.

This is not a newly hatched concept, we can’t take credit for the birth of this idea, but it’s a great, alternative mechanism to nuture higher employee engagement levels and companies are quickly discovering it’s a surefire way to do so.

By establishing a Corporate Volunteer Program, employers allow themselves to connect with their workforce by supporting charitable pursuits important to and close to the hearts of their employees, whilst at the same time creates a pathway for employees to connect with the community, address a cause and raise their sense of wellbeing.

How does workplace volunteering translate into better workplace engagement?

For a start, these volunteer initiatives lend purpose and meaning. Commitment to one’s work gives employees a sense of purpose, and companies are learning that an excellent conduit to this feeling is involvement in cause.  Organisations are also discovering that purpose-driven work through cause can help boost morale and productivity, distinctive elements of employee engagement, which can inevitably affect the corporate bottom line. Giving your employees the chance to give back could see them having a renewed appreciation for the importance of their jobs.

Secondly, volunteer programs are an important tool for employee recruitment and retention. Employees want to take pride in their work and in the organisation they work for, and when they do, they tend to stay.  Volunteer programs are an excellent way to create an engaged corporate culture that attracts top talent and keeps them on and in the job.  Even to those who don’t typically volunteer in their private time, many employees would consider their organisations commitment to the community when making a job decision.

And finally, a Corporate Volunteer Program can provide a strong platform for leadership and skills development. These initiatives allow employees to expand on and develop new skills, build upon strengths and connect with their community. Volunteering can also develop soft skills that are instrumental in a business environment, such as problem solving, mentoring and communication. That is why, programs of volunteering are such great breeding grounds for new talent, allowing a neutral space for employee training and growth at what is in fact a relatively low cost to the organisation.

It’s true that many Corporate Volunteer Programs will vary, but one thing is for sure, engaging employees through volunteering infuses jobs with purpose-filled work that increases the chances of them remaining happy, productive and loyal. In a nutshell, ENGAGED!

If you would like more ideas on how to boost employee engagement levels in your organisation, then go ahead and give us a call on +44 (0) 1255 850051 or contact us via our website contact form.

Written by Alison McKinney
Alison McKinney is the Project and Quality Assurance Manager at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Alison has extensive experience in project management and quality assurance and has recently worked on projects for clients as diverse as: WSP Middle East. Natural History Museum, Peverel, Marine Stewardship Council, Accor UK &Ireland and Thompsons Solicitors. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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