The act of becoming a volunteer has been slightly declining in recent years across communities. Surprisingly, however, it is on the rise in the business environment. One of the few employee perks that has expanded vastly over the years is paid time off for volunteering. You may be wondering, how is it possible to do some volunteering activities while being a full-time employee? Keep reading and you will find the answer.
Volunteerism in Statistics
According to research by the Society for Human Resource Management, 47% of corporations in the United States conducted community volunteer programs in 2018, up from 40% in 2014. This figure is significantly greater for major corporations. Meanwhile, the Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose, a global association of multibillion-dollar firms, noted that 66% of its member companies sponsored paid-time-off volunteer programs in 2019, up from 56% in 2016. While it is unclear whether volunteering trends will continue in the post-pandemic era, these findings have shown how global employers are paying good attention to preserving well-run initiatives within their organizations.
Benefits of Volunteering
Studies have found that volunteer programs promote productivity, employee engagement, and hiring and retention. The more employees volunteered, the better they performed on tasks. The study also revealed that volunteers tend to be better employees. Another study, conducted by David Jones of the University of Vermont found that companies with employee volunteering programs were especially appealing to potential applicants for three main reasons:
Volunteering has also been shown to improve people’s well-being and feeling of purpose, as well as their physical and mental health, according to research.
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Designing a Volunteer Culture
Companies should adjust their volunteer programs to elements such as company size, market and investor preferences, as well as cultural norms and traits. While employers should avoid forcing employees to volunteer, they may still make efforts to encourage participation. Employees’ interest and feeling of purpose are increased when they have the ability to make their own decisions and focus on tasks that are personally relevant to them. Structured, coordinated activities, on the other hand, are more likely to stimulate employee contact and shared experiences, thus enhancing enthusiasm and strengthening collaboration. Here are some ideas on what types of volunteer activities employees can choose to take.
1 . Food for Everyone
One of the most feasible volunteering activities is to provide foods and distribute them to the less fortunate. Aside from this being simple in practice, this does not take up much time, so even busy full-time employees can participate well in this volunteering activity. The event can include groups of people around the company’s vicinity, such as beggars, street singers, tenant workers, and so on. Leaders can also make this a routine by doing it on a monthly or bi-weekly basis, for example. If you want to use this also as a team-building activity, dedicate one day for your employees to cook the meals by themselves to later be distributed for people in need. You can always opt to order ready meals, if the time is limited, and let your employees do the distribution. This activity can cultivate their social awareness and empathy. Employees will have the opportunity to bond as they give back, so your efforts will be worthwhile.
2 . Blood Donation
Another volunteering idea for full-time employees is holding a blood donation event by partnering with the local red-cross organization. There are many health benefits of blood donation, such as to maintain a healthy liver and reduce risk of heart attack and cancer. This can also raise an awareness that something as simple as blood donation can save someone’s life. It gives the sense that you do not have to look from outside sources to give back, as your body can do the giving for you. Employers simply need to arrange a schedule with the local red-cross organization and all the medical process will be aided from there on.
3 . Stray Cats and Dogs Feeding
Giving back to society can go beyond the human; animals are parts of the society too. One volunteering idea your company can adopt is to feed stray cats and dogs. Look around and there must be cats or dogs around your office’s neighborhood that are roaming free. Since not everyone has the capacity to adopt or rescue them, keeping them fed is one good thing to show your love. Assign one day for your employees to gather and distribute cats and dogs food. Then, you can all go outside together but in multiple sub-areas nearby, so all cats or dogs nearby can be fed. This volunteering activity can also serve as a team-building activity for your employees!
Even when you are a full-time employee, there is always a way to be a volunteer and make the world a better place, starting from your vicinity. Are you ready to participate?
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