How to make your employee volunteering program work

Team Goodera
How to make your employee volunteering program work

Corporate volunteering is an opportunity for employees to give back to their communities and make a positive impact. Many companies choose to take part in corporate volunteering to fulfill their responsibility for the social good. A corporate volunteer program is a great way to tap into your employees’ skills, motivate them and make them feel good about their contributions. These volunteering programs aim to create a supportive work environment where employees can feel secure and accomplish their personal missions. 

Corporate volunteer programs can be a powerful force for good in the world. But they need to be well designed, with the right incentives and training, to maximize the benefits they deliver.

The benefits of well-designed corporate volunteer programs have been established:
They boost productivity, increase employee engagement, improve hiring and retention, and many more. But too often, firms’ programs lack the proper structure, process and communication to truly deliver their promises.

Companies should avoid common mistakes by simplifying volunteer design and ensuring participation is meaningful and representative of the company’s culture. They also need to structure their programs to prevent top-down pressure on employees, while trusting that true community spirit will emerge naturally.

Turning your employees into philanthropic volunteers is a great way to increase engagement, loyalty, responsiveness and performance while strengthening your brand. This article will help you create an employee volunteering program that gets everyone involved while also honing the skills of your employees.  Let’s dive in to learn more. 

Set goals for your employee volunteer program

Before you launch an employee volunteering program, think about what goals you would like to achieve in a successful program by establishing clear objectives so it's easier to measure the impact. 

Why do you want to start a volunteer program? What kind of impact do you want to create? Once these questions are answered, think of how many employees will participate and how many volunteer hours are desired. Remember that not all programs will create intended outcomes, so it's good to establish goals in advance so that expectations can be set.

Offer a strong purpose

A strong sense of purpose is crucial to creating a cohesive and engaged workforce. Employees are increasingly looking out for purpose-driven work and making an impact on the business, people and society at large.

A strong sense of purpose enables an organization’s employees to connect their work to the impact they want to make. This helps you strategize your next employee volunteering event and focus on strengthening the meaningful impact your organization can create on the community. 

Track volunteer data to assess progress

Keeping track of your program’s performance will help you analyze its success, whether it’s meeting the desired goals or engaging more people.  This data will also help you identify any obstacles and develop strategies for overcoming them.

By monitoring your volunteering programs, you can make adjustments as necessary to improve the volunteer’s experience.

Publicize Your Programs Efforts

Communication with your community and employees is vital to helping you reach your goals and maintain productivity within the office. You will want to use a variety of media sources such as social media, newsletters, bulletin boards, emails as well as traditional advertising methods to get your message out.

You can further share your company’s achievements with the world by posting accomplishments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This allows the team to showcase the success of the employee volunteer program.

Provide rewards for top participants 

Personal recognition is an essential part of volunteer development. Although it is often thought that an act of altruism is its own reward, the reward of receiving awards and other public recognition can go a long way in keeping your program invigorated, motivated and successful.

You can reward your top volunteers with a special prize by keeping track of their volunteer hours throughout the year. You can offer an appreciation certificate to the best volunteers and you can also offer gift cards or gift vouchers to make your employees feel special. 

Provide flexible opportunities to employees

Finding the free time to volunteer can be a barrier for employees who want to support your employee volunteer program initiatives. If some of your employees have busy schedules, consider offering both virtual volunteer opportunities and micro-volunteering opportunities.

Virtual volunteering opportunities open doors to those who may have transportation, time, or mobility restrictions. This is a great way to allow them to still be a part of your employee volunteer program and can help boost engagement since your employees have the option to volunteer within the comfort of their own homes.

Wrapping up…

Now that you are aware of how to make your employee volunteering program thrive, it's time to start planning. When planning your first campaign, remember to start with a good structure. Don’t invest in a program until you know precisely how to put it together. Without structure, your volunteer program might lack direction and focus, ultimately making it difficult for employees and volunteers to feel invested in their work. 

Also, make sure that your employees are all on the same page about the importance of your mission by sharing examples and stories from other nonprofits that have successfully achieved the same goals as yours.