Author: Courtney Riley
Published by: Bailey DeRudder
Coldwell Banker Canada recently trialed a new endeavor with our corporate team, and I am thrilled to have now been a part of two successful volunteer days. This is the first time I have ever been a part of corporate volunteering and I now truly recognize the tremendous value that it can bring to a workplace, especially when the causes are so important to us. Our St. Albert office and Burlington office have decided to focus our volunteer efforts on local animal rescues and local food charities to give back to our community in a way that best aligns with our company and our corporate culture.
After these volunteer days, the emotions I had can be described as light and motivated, light because I was just in such a good mood and motivated to work even harder at my job! That’s when I decided to do some research on the topic and wasn’t at all surprised by my findings. There are so many benefits that accompany corporate volunteering both to employees and to the company, all of which I experienced first-hand.
What is Corporate Volunteering?
Corporate volunteering is when businesses encourage and enable their employees to give back by donating their time to community causes together and as a team. This is usually done on company time and/or with company resources.
Corporate volunteering contributes not only to a business’s corporate social responsibility, but also to their employee engagement strategy. It’s all about making the world a better place while building a more engaged team who values their workplace.
What are the benefits of Corporate Volunteering to Employees?
Corporate volunteering provides employees with a tremendous number of benefits which not only translate to the workplace, but also to their everyday life. Corporate volunteering strengthens relationships among colleagues and helps employees develop their soft skills, increases their wellbeing, and improves their mental health.
Relationships Among Colleagues
Although colleagues often socialize at work, on their breaks, or even outside of work, nothing bonds people together the way volunteering does. Volunteering is one of the best ways to form and nurture positive relationships among employees. Working together on something meaningful can foster deeper connections than working together on a work-related project.
Corporate volunteering creates a sense of teamwork and connectivity that causes employees to truly value their workplace. They’ll look forward to coming to work and be excited to work on projects with their team!
Soft skills are non-technical skills that can make you more successful in the workplace. Some examples include things like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management, and empathy, among others. To flourish in your career, developing these soft skills is essential.
In the workplace, employees can easily develop their technical and job-specific skills, but sometimes it’s difficult to find opportunities to develop their soft skills. Corporate volunteering provides a solution to this problem by giving employees a way to develop these soft skills outside of the workplace which they can then apply both to their professional and personal lives.
According to Psychology Today, “wellbeing is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and the ability to manage stress.”
Giving employees a sense of purpose through corporate volunteering can increase their wellbeing. This can be explained by something referred to as the helpers high – when someone does a good deed, it releases brain chemicals similar to endorphins which gives them a higher sense of wellbeing. Corporate volunteering promotes these positive mindsets which translates into higher employee satisfaction ratings.
There is a popular opinion circulating that businesses are responsible for their employee’s mental health. This makes sense when you consider how much time and energy the average person spends at work and/or thinking about work.
Research also shows that volunteering improves mental health by promoting gratitude, connecting us to others, and giving us a better sense of belonging.
When you think about these two findings simultaneously, it makes sense for employers to initiate corporate volunteering into their business model to help improve their employee’s mental health.
What are the Benefits of Corporate Volunteering for Companies?
The benefits of corporate volunteering experienced by the employees of an organization directly correlates to the benefits experienced by the company in which they are employed. Research shows that companies who participate in corporate volunteering have lower staff turnover, are more successful at recruiting, and obtain higher levels of employee engagement.
Lower Staff Turnover
As noted above, corporate volunteering improves relationships among colleagues, helps them develop their soft skills, and improves their well-being & mental health. This explains exactly why companies with corporate volunteer programs experience lower staff turnover.
Three of the main reasons why employees leave a job are the corporate culture, poor mental health, and being unhappy at work. By incorporating corporate volunteering into your organization, you’re actively working to decrease these feelings within your workforce which will translate into higher retention.
Recruiting Top Talent
Studies show that a larger percentage of employees prefer to work for a company that allows them the opportunity to volunteer and agree that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential when selecting their employer. Moreover, 73% of adults state they wouldn’t apply to work for a company whose values don’t align with their own. Basically, people want to work for a socially responsible company.
Having a corporate volunteer program can increase your reputation and attract those candidates looking for a company with purposeful values!
High Employee Engagement
Did you know that employees who feel like they have a purpose at work have 4x higher engagement?! When corporate volunteer programs reflect your business’ purpose, they can be highly successful in increasing employee engagement and commitment to the company.
By implementing a corporate volunteer program, employers reap the benefits of a workforce who is more engaged, happier, and more effective, with higher levels of employee morale.
That brings us back to the initial question: can corporate volunteering elevate your business? In short, absolutely it can. Based on my own personal experience and everything I found in my research, I can confidently say that corporate volunteering can elevate your business in so many ways, and I can’t wait for Coldwell Banker Canada’s next volunteer day!
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