By now, we all know the personal benefits of volunteering – higher self-worth, a sense of pride, and a chance to forge new relationships within your community. Have you ever thought about how volunteering impacts your business? It turns out that the benefits could actually be even greater. While the idea of taking time away from the office seems counterproductive, dedicating an afternoon volunteering as a company could be the nudge you and your employees need to start creating some of their best work yet. Here are five ways that a company volunteer outing will leave you feeling like you’re actually getting more out of it than you’re giving back:
1) Volunteering Inspires New Employee Loyalty
For businesses seeking new employees in the “fresh out of college” demographic, you might want to re-think your incentives. A 2015 study revealed that 53% of millennials reported that volunteer opportunities are more important to them than benefits when looking for a company to stay with long-term. Get your company out onto volunteer sites and post photos on social media where job seekers will be looking to learn more about your business. Which brings us to our next point…
2) Volunteering Acts as a Great Photo Opportunity
Anyone on social media is familiar with the quintessential 21st century proverb “pictures or it didn’t happen,” and this holds true in business, as well. Simply alerting your social media followers that you volunteered is fine, but attaching photos of your team at the volunteer site will inspire more social media engagement and allow your company to be seen. This visibility will certainly help to bolster the positive corporate social responsibility reputation that potential clients and job seekers are looking for in your business.
3) Volunteering Serves as a Team Building Exercise
Your employees are probably used to working together in the office, but working on a project outside of their normal work environment gives them an opportunity to build on their communication skills in a new and unique way. Taking company field trips to volunteer sites is a great way to encourage teamwork, and having a few laughs along the way will definitely help your employees bond as a group.
4) Volunteering Helps to Increase Productivity
Inherently, people feel good about helping their community. Giving your employees a platform to give back will improve their morale and motivate them to work harder. In fact, a 2013 study reported that employees who get to engage in their community were found to be 16% more productive, which translates to happy, inspired employees and a more profitable business.
5) Volunteering Lets You Get to Know Your Clients
Working with a non-profit organization via phone call or email is one thing, but actually working with them in person will provide a whole new respect for what they do for their community. Forging a personal relationship with your clients and making it a priority to better understand their goals and mission will always produce higher quality work. For example, our team recently volunteered with our client Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity for an on-site home re-build project, and I’m sure I can speak for us all in saying we left the work site feeling more impassioned and inspired for future projects with them now that we have first-hand experience in what they do.