Corporations Make Giving Back a Year-Round Effort
But, increasingly, businesses are discovering that giving back is a year-round effort.
It’s not only good for the communities they serve; it’s also good for their bottom line.
Corporate volunteering is linked closely with employee retention, and employee retention means a more profitable company. Companies that focus on employee programs, like volunteering, enjoy greater employee satisfaction, higher morale, and because of that, greater productivity and profitability.
Leaders know employees expect these programs to be offered. According to America’s Charities 2015 survey of employee engagement and social impact, 70 percent of survey respondents strongly agreed that employees expect them to be a socially responsible company.
That expectation will only continue as the number of millennials in the workplace continues to grow.
The millennial generation is known for its social responsibility and desire to do good, both personally and professionally. According to a study from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, millennials are willing to sacrifice an average of 14.4 percent of their expected salaries to work at socially responsible companies.
That’s a far cry from the traditional model where competitive wages and benefits were the key variables that attracted potential employees. Millennials, however, want to work for a company that shares their values, including supporting causes they support.
Businesses are responding to this altruistic spirit.
According to the National Philanthropic Trust, in 2015, corporate giving increased to $18.46 billion: a 3.9% increase from 2014, and nearly 60 percent of companies offer paid time off for employees to volunteer (America’s Charities Snapshot 2015).
These non-profits reap the rewards through time and money, and the benefits to the company are as visible as the bottom line.
Disengaged employees are a major threat to any business. According to a Gallup survey, disengaged employees cost an estimated $350 billion to their employers every year.
And there are other benefits. It helps employees unite as a team.
An article in U.S. News and World Report listed volunteering as one of the five best bonding outings for co-workers because it encourages giving back to the community while prioritizing the causes they care about most.
“In addition to being a good corporate citizen, employers can feel confident knowing that research suggests that participating in volunteer activities outside of the office can help employees recover from work and come back re-energized,” wrote David W. Ballard of the American Psychological Association.
Ballard says participating in these volunteer activities helps improve leadership abilities in ways that extend beyond what employees can learn in a seminar.
At inVeritas, volunteering is a team affair. Employees are encouraged to nominate organizations in the community that could benefit from our time and financial resources.
Team members promote their favorite causes and votes on the charities they would like to support.
There are a lot of benefits to this approach but two stand out: The team takes ownership in deciding what charity will be supported, and we all learn about so many worthy organizations that we can support outside of the office.
Through the years, our team has given their time to many organizations including the Arkansas Rice Depot, ACCESS Group, Arkansas Hunter Relief Alliance, Our House and Helping Hands.
But we also donate financially to organizations like, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art or to events like, ACCESS Bingo Bash and Starry Starry Night and Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance’s Serving Up Solutions and Hunger Action Breakfast.
inVeritas is not alone in its efforts. Fortune magazine recently noted the gratification of volunteering is inspiring workers who seek a higher purpose in their day-to-day jobs. They compiled a list of the 50 best workplaces for giving back. (See the full list here: http://fortune.com/best-workplaces-giving-back/)
Find a cause that your team supports and experience the benefits of volunteering and bonding as a team all year long.
NOTE: This blog originally ran in Talk Business & Politics on November 14, 2016: http://talkbusiness.net/2016/11/volunteering-should-be-part-of-the-business-plan/