If you’ve ever volunteered, you’re probably very familiar with the personal benefits that come with it – a sense of pride, a higher self-worth, and a deeper feeling of connection with your community. Have you ever thought about how this feeling would translate if volunteering was a business-wide venture instead of an individual effort? It turns out the benefits could actually be even greater – so much so that you might even feel like you’re getting more out of it than you’re giving back.
While the idea of taking time away from the office seems counterproductive, dedicating an afternoon to volunteering as a company could be the nudge your team needs to start creating some of their best work yet. Here are five ways volunteering benefits your business while also benefiting your community.
1) Volunteering Builds Teamwork
Your employees are probably used to working together day in and day out to provide the highest quality work for your company and your clients. That being said, collaborating on a project outside of their normal work environment is a completely different ballgame. Taking company field trips to volunteer sites is a great way to develop their communication skills in a new and unique way, and having a few laughs along the way will definitely help your employees bond as a group.
2) Volunteering Inspires Employee Loyalty
One of the most sought-after benefits for young professionals at the start of their careers is working for a company that cares. In fact, 71% of professionals surveyed by America’s Charities stated that a company culture that supports giving back is “imperative” or “very important” to them. Not only are volunteer opportunities an attractive feature for job candidates, but they also inspire a sense of loyalty within your current staff. Employees who feel that the organization they work for values their community for more than just financial gain generally feel positively towards their leadership, which makes them more likely to stay at that company for longer periods of time.
3) Volunteering Increases Productivity
It’s inherently human to feel good about helping others. With this in mind, it makes sense that happy employees are productive employees. Research suggests that employees who engage with their community are 18% more productive than those who do not, which translates to a motivated, unified team and a more profitable business.
4) Volunteering Creates a Great Social Media Moment
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 posting about your volunteering efforts is one thing, but sharing photos of your team at the volunteer site will inspire social media engagement while drawing attention to the nonprofit you are supporting. This visibility will help to bolster the positive corporate social responsibility reputation that potential clients and job seekers are looking for in your business.
5) Volunteering Forges Stronger Nonprofit Client Relationships
Working with a nonprofit client via email or phone meetings is one thing, but actually working with them on-site will provide your team with a whole new perspective of how their efforts impact the community. Forging a personal relationship with your nonprofit clients and making it a priority to better understand their mission will always produce higher quality work. Not only that, but your nonprofit clients will be more likely to prolong your working relationship if you demonstrate a vested interest in their efforts.
Volunteering Benefits Business & The Community
Now that we’ve gone over the professional benefits to volunteering, the only thing left to do is get involved. Research and reach out to nonprofits in your area to see if there are any opportunities for your team to spend a few hours volunteering on-site. There may also be virtual volunteering options available if in-person opportunities are limited. Not only will taking time out of your busy work week benefit your business, but it will also benefit your team and your community as a whole.