Many companies focus on the “buzz” words that are often a focal point in business. Culture, employee engagement, talent management, and retention are just a few of the most important aspects of a productive, satisfied workforce. One of the most beneficial and often overlooked ways to improve each of these areas is to promote company-wide initiatives surrounding workplace community involvement.
Encouraging volunteerism is a simple way to involve employees, both individually and as a team, in supporting a common goal. Perhaps due to an increasing presence of Millennials in the workforce, there is an added emphasis on social causes and a focus on what a Company can do to contribute to them.
Below are a few recommendations for how a Company could improve its workplace community involvement:
- Go Directly to the Source – Ask employees what matters most to them! Utilize a survey, or if Company size allows, ask employees directly for feedback on what causes matter most and how they would prefer to get involved. Whether it be a monetary donation or someone’s time, employees are most likely to participate in a cause that impacts or has meaning to them personally. It is also important to support groups that are not politically or religiously aligned in a way that may upset half the employee population or turn people off.
- Design and Execute a Formalized Plan, but Make It Voluntary – By creating a defined list of organizations, causes, or activities that the Company supports, a Company can increase the likelihood that employees feel empowered to make a difference in their community. A formalized plan may also encourage employees to team up and organize initiatives and activities with the Company’s preferred causes. It is important, however, not to pressure employees into doing something they are either unable or unwilling to do. Some ideas for encouraging participation without pressure may be offering to match an employee’s monetary donation to a cause, or allowing employees to volunteer on Company time.
- Build Enthusiasm & Celebrate with Fanfare – Get employees excited about the opportunity to volunteer on behalf of the Company! Present employees with the tools and resources necessary to do their own research, but provide them with viable options for participation. EctoHR, Inc. has even seen clients create competitions and give awards for community involvement!
- Communicate the Impact – Follow up with employees and share how their volunteerism made a difference in the organization or cause at hand. Allowing one to see the impact their time and/or money had on others will encourage them (and other employees) to continue to help their community. Communicating the positive results also boosts employee morale and shows where a Company’s priorities lie, which can have significant impacts on employee recruitment and retention.
It is never too late to start initiatives for community workplace involvement! By following some of the recommendations outlined above, a Company could be well on its way to improving its culture, employee morale, and employee retention. For ideas or additional assistance on how to increase community outreach and volunteerism, contact a member of the EctoHR team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 810-534-0170.