Do you include paid time off for volunteering among your employee benefits? If not, consider whether allowing your staff to donate their skills elsewhere could be one of the best investments you ever make.
That might sound a little counterintuitive, but there is logic behind this view. Giving your employees a few paid days per year when they can volunteer for good causes could lead to a whole host of benefits, for both your staff and your business.
International Volunteer Day takes place on 5 December, so we’ve been inspired to share a few of the benefits that we’ve noticed over the years.
People like to give back to their community.
Many of us would love to volunteer our time and expertise to help out in our community, or to support a cause that we feel passionate about. Sadly, for the average working person, finding time amid all our other responsibilities to regularly volunteer can be difficult, if not impossible.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, financial worries can make working for free even less feasible for those already feeling the pinch.
Enabling your employees to take a day out from their normal work to give something back – without worrying about the consequences of a slimmer paycheque – can provide a tremendous boost for the spirit.
Paid volunteering proves that the business shares your employees’ values.
The old saying ‘put your money where your mouth is’ really rings true in this situation. Encouraging staff to make charitable donations through payroll or to take part in fundraising initiatives while at work can be helpful. But nothing demonstrates genuine commitment to your values like paying for your employees to donate their labour to a good cause.
Volunteering can boost employee morale and retention.
Paid volunteering schemes send the message to your staff that they are valued and have much to offer the community. This can work wonders to lift morale and make your team proud to work for a company that supports charitable causes in a direct, visible way.
Sending your staff into the community raises the profile of your business.
Just as your employees will feel empowered by the opportunity to volunteer, being seen to support charities will boost awareness of your brand. It could also provide the chance to build stronger relationships with local organisations and attract great job candidates in the future.
You could uncover new skills and leadership potential among your team.
Sending colleagues on a volunteer day as a group can be great for teambuilding and confidence boosting, especially if a change to team dynamics provides new opportunities for employees to shine. Who knows, your staff could even uncover a few hidden talents!