Employees can engage in virtual, hybrid, or physical form, depending on the requirements and nature of their contribution.
What is employee volunteering and what importance does it hold for companies?
Giving back to society and a sense of fulfilment are becoming increasingly important today. Especially amongst Generation X and Millennials, who are looking for companies that are socially responsible.
To improve their employee engagement and retention, and for other benefits, companies can utilize an employee volunteer program.
What is Employee Volunteering?
1. Providing paid off-time for employees to take part in community volunteer programs. This way, employees can choose their weekly or monthly commitments on behalf of the company and independently engage in these activities.
2. Designating volunteer days: Blocking a few days on the employee calendar when all teams engage in various volunteering services. This can provide a means for employee bonding and direct initiatives by the company to motivate employees to work for the community.
3. Connecting with local, national, or international organizations: This is beneficial for structuring and scheduling employee engagements and associating with organizations working on different causes with varying degrees of impact.
The employee volunteer structure can be virtual, hybrid, or physical, depending on the requirements and nature of the role. Employees can devote their skills to develop plans of action for the kind of volunteering activities and campaigns that can be undertaken by the company. This also creates camaraderie amongst employees and boosts their sense of fulfilment. Furthermore, it also acts as a catalyst for generating goodwill for the company and reaps additional benefits.
Community engagement can be personally rewarding but carrying out employee volunteering programs can have more general and holistic advantages for the company. Some of these include:
1. Diversity and Inclusivity: Engaging with diverse themes and causes can promote the company’s diversity and inclusivity. It is beneficial to expose the employees to experiences or topics that are new and provide an alternative perspective. Spending time with different groups of people from within the organization and in the society could also motivate employees to become more inclusive in their approach. Furthermore, amongst the shareholders, seeing the company engage with various volunteering initiatives acts as an indicator of inclusivity and diversity in their outreach.
2. Employee Retention: With an increase in the focus on community service and social work. The firms’ employee retention has also seen an increase owing to better workplace satisfaction. Not only does the company become a more desirable option to work for, considering that employers get the benefit of working for the betterment of their community, but their commitment and dedication to the company also improves, leading to fewer resignations.
3. Better Workplace Environment and Engagement: Volunteering activities provide a change for employees from different divisions and teams to come together for a common cause. Their engagements may lead to better workplace environments and unlikely workplace friendships that can have significant benefits for the overall productivity of the company. Volunteering activities can also be a change from the monotony of the office walls and break the cycle of endless filing and thus create a better balance of work and out-of-work activities for the employees.
4. Consumer Impact: Publishing reports or sharing stories of employee volunteer engagement also boost the company’s image in the consumer base. People are looking for responsible companies that understand the importance of creating an impact in the society. When employees are also engaged in these tasks, it builds more accountability and trust in the company’s CSR and community outreach programs. This creates a loyal consumer base that has enormous potential to expand with the spread of word regarding the company’s dedication towards creating a holistic workplace environment as well as positive social impact.
5. ESG Compliance and Outreach: Environment, Social and Governance is a benchmark rating for assessing a company’s value in the market. It often dictates the way in which investors decide to invest in a company. The environmental criteria assess the company’s response to the environment, for example climate change or water pollution. The social criteria assess the company’s social contribution and internal workplace environment, amongst other factors. The governance criteria measure the company’s compliance with the regulations set by the government and their transparency and accountability. Thus, employee volunteering programs work to improve this rating by focusing on the company’s determination to give back to the community and environment. The employee satisfaction with the company and employee retention may also see improvements, thus further strengthening the company’s score on the ESG. This invites more investors to contribute to the progress of the company and raises its credibility.
How Can SoulAce Help?
Aceing in activities that replenish the working soul, SoulAce provides a wholesome plan of action for improving the company’s engagement with their community.
SoulAce partners with various NGOs and foundations that work towards alleviating a range of issues that plague the society and environment. By understanding the needs of the company and their vision regarding the employee volunteer programs, a plan of action can be drawn up, linking the company to relevant NGOs and utilizing a mix of software and other tools for engaging employees.
The SoulAce software platform for employee volunteering in India continuously updates information with requirements for volunteers for different projects that employees can choose from. It can be customized to reveal opportunities that align with the aims of the companies and their employees.
Furthermore, the software allows employees to tag and connect with colleagues on its social media platform, thus building a sense of community bonding and engagement within the workplace. This can be a social activity and source of motivating employees to participate in the tasks. For employees who may wish to donate to certain causes, the corporate social responsibility platform also provides an opportunity to make donations to charities or causes as per their areas of interest. This also encourages some community outreach and generates a sense of goodwill and compassion within the employees.
Additionally, the software is also equipped with a centralized database and analytics options to help HR in assessing the degree of employee engagement and chart courses for improving the employee volunteering strategies. This is beneficial in understanding what motivates employees to participate in community service and better align the vision and goals of the company with the interests of its employees.
Thus, employee volunteering is a win-win scenario for the company with benefits for the company, its employees, and the society. Even the consumers and investors gain from knowing that their trust is placed in ethical and responsible companies that give back to the community and care for the environment. Setting precedents for simplifying volunteering activities, SoulAce takes a step forward in connecting responsible companies with diligent organizations that together shape the cogs for ushering in a brighter future for the community.