Summer is an opportune time to cultivate workplace community by volunteering in the community as a team. Just in the month of June alone there are two officially designated dates that you can celebrate: The United Way’s Day of Action 2018 which occurs on (or around) June 21 and United Nation’s Public Service Day on June 23. It’s always great to recognize the good work that your staff does in the workplace, but doing good outside the office is likely to boost happiness, improve engagement and build workplace spirit.
Why Volunteering As A Team Is Valuable
A Huffington Post article exploring how workplace giving and volunteering can drive employee engagement explained that “prosocial” behavior, doing something for the benefit of someone else, positively affects the individuals participating in it, and in return, their workplaces.
Here are four ways prosocial behavior can help employee engagement:
Productivity – productivity increases when employees work together toward a common goal and creates the sense that each worker is an integral part of a bigger team. As a result, every employee feels empowered and inspired to do their part, to not let the team down.
Pride – people want to be part of something bigger than themselves and giving back to the community can give an employee a more positive view on their place of work (and their role there).
Gratitude – by giving employees an opportunity to volunteer and make a difference as part of your company’s culture, the gratitude they feel may foster a stronger (and longer) connection with work.
Ethics – engaging in philanthropic activities can can instill more ethical behavior and thoughts in employees.
To sum things up, writer Margaret Jacoby asked:
What happens when companies make a habit of practicing good ethical behavior as a whole? Employees begin to feel pride in their work, gratitude for their employers, and show a boosted level of productivity. See how it all comes full circle?
Great For The Community AND Good For The Business
Research conducted by the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business showed that volunteering done by employees contributes to better workplace productivity and satisfaction. The study’s author, Jessica Rodell, said:
“Overwhelmingly employees who volunteered gave more time and effort to their jobs, were more willing to help out their colleagues, talked more positively about their companies and were less likely to do detrimental things like cyberloaf or waste time on the job.”
Cultivating Workplace Community by Doing Good
A Business News Daily article explored the connection between employee volunteerism and better workplaces and shared some interesting results from a Deloitte study on volunteerism:
…an overwhelming majority – 89 percent – of employees think organizations that sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment. In addition, 70 percent believe volunteer activities are more likely to boost staff morale than company-sponsored happy hours, with more than three-quarters saying volunteering is essential to employee well-being.
This sounds great, right? But less than 40 percent of employees indicated that their employers provide them with company sponsored/coordinated volunteer programs.
It seems like employees are interested and eager to donate their time and talents since nearly 70 percent of employees are not volunteering as much as they would like to, with nearly two-thirds of those saying part of the reason is because they aren’t able to dedicate any time during the day to volunteer.
Ideas to Get Started
There are so many worthy non-profits out there than can use help. Luckily there are excellent resources to match your company with with an organization or program in need of assistance. These include the United Way, Points of Light Foundation or websites like VolunteerMatch that can actually do volunteer matchmaking.
But involving your employees in the decisions making process will most likely increase awareness and participation.
- Consider having employees nominate ad charity or project that is near and dear to them and then have the entire staff vote on their favorite.
- Make sure everyone understands how their hard work will benefit the non-profit – people are more apt to be invested if they know they can make an impact.
- Encourage employees to use skills that may be outside of their typical job duties – volunteering is a great way to both use existing skills and develop new skills.
- Reward and recognized participation (gThankYou’s Ice Cream or Fresh Fruit Gift Certificates are a great summertime treat).
- Shine a light on your employees’ commitment by highlighting your company’s good work on social media or with a joint press release with the charity.
Use This Calendar to Find More Inspiring Community Building Ideas
The gThankYou annual calendar is jam-packed with insights into the latest HR trends, how-to tutorials for engaging and thanking employees, case studies to inspire you, examples of holidays to celebrate each month, and research statistics to help you make the business case for appreciation.
Download yours FREE now and start nurturing workplace engagement and community building today!
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