Happy International Volunteer Day! Today we’re celebrating the benefits of workplace volunteerism.
International Volunteer Day is a UN-spearheaded effort to highlight and honor the work of volunteers around the world in areas such as education, youth engagement, health, poverty eradication and the environment.
If you’re interested in celebrating the day in your workplace or sharing information about your company’s volunteer work on social media, be sure to check out these International Volunteer Day resources for participants. You’ll find logos, guidelines for promotion and more. Share your gratitude publicly for active volunteers using #GlobalApplause, this year’s theme for giving volunteers a hand.
Let the day be an inspiration to celebrate your company’s unique approach to community outreach and workplace volunteering!
Volunteer work is as varied as the people who participate, and there is no cookie-cutter template for company-led volunteer efforts.
But no matter how your company gives back to the community, studies show that workplace volunteering has serious benefits for employee engagement. Plus, it’s what employees want and even expect!
Why Workplace Volunteering Is Worth the Investment
Workplace volunteering can seem like a major investment in time, money, organization and company resources, so it’s natural to wonder if it’s worth all the effort. You may be thinking, Shouldn’t employees just focus on work?
In fact, hours spent volunteering reap benefits that reach far beyond the recipients of the good deeds.
Workplace volunteering is one of best investments for building a workforce that’s engaged, motivated and committed to the corporate mission. And younger employees are actually seeking out companies now that demonstrate a strong commitment to community outreach and giving back.
For younger workers, “it’s not just about what they do every day from 9 to 5, but about how that fits into a bigger picture,” according to the Baltimore Business Journal.
“They want to feel good about the ‘why’ of a company and its role in supporting the greater community. If they feel like they’ve bought in to a company’s mission, they will be even more motivated as employees.”
Regardless of age, employees who volunteer through their workplace feel more positive toward their employer and report a strengthened bond with co-workers, according SHRM.
Until recently, employee volunteering and giving often were relegated “to the margins of corporate citizenship,” writes Cheryl Yaffe Kiser, managing director of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, in a paper on how workplace volunteering and giving programs drive performance at Fortune 500 companies.
“This is a missed opportunity,” she writes. “Brought into the core, employees strengthen corporate citizenship from the inside out with compassion, promising ideas and unparalleled energy.”
Dianne Durkin of Loyalty Factor tells SHRM that the best workplace volunteering programs involve all employees and build on the company mission.
“It’s not just by giving money. It’s by giving time, contributing with expertise. … Employees want to feel as though their company is making a real difference in the world. It’s well beyond profits,” she says.
Share Your Gratitude for Workplace Volunteering!
Don’t forget to thank employees for their participation in volunteer work. Gratitude from leadership is key to building a culture of workplace gratitude.
The workplace is one of the last places gratitude gets expressed because too many business leaders still subscribe to outdated ideas about employee recognition, such as a paycheck being “thanks enough.”
Yet studies show people love feeling grateful and love hearing appreciation from others. Leaders just need to pave the way by modeling gratitude first! Grateful leadership has a ripple effect on employee engagement, inspiring better morale, higher quality and lower turnover.
One of the simplest to celebrate workplace volunteering, employee appreciation and business success is with a Thank You letter to employees. Now at the holidays is a great time to get started, while we’re celebrating the spirit of community and giving back.
Our new eBook “Learn How to Write a Thanksgiving Letter to Employees” isn’t just for Thanksgiving! You’ll learn tips for writing a memorable message that’s appropriate for the holidays, New Year or special occasions like International Volunteer Day, too. The eBook includes:
- The business case for sharing a “Thank You” at the holidays.
- Real-life examples of memorable letters from bosses in a variety of industries.
- Best practices for thanking employees and ideas for brainstorming your own unique approach.
- Tips on how to share your letter.
This free eBook is for you — whether you’re an HR manager in charge of employee holiday gifts, a C-suite executive seeking practical advice for a company-wide holiday mailing, or a location manager who wants to hand-write individual Thank You cards to the whole team.
Why wait? Download your free copy now!
About gThankYou, LLC
Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any grocery store in the U.S. Find out more: gThankYou Gift Certificates.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
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