While your company has a Corporate Social Responsibility program for many reasons (retention, team building, employee engagement, brand reputation), your employees usually volunteer for one reason: because they care.
Most of the time, your employees are volunteering for intrinsic and personal reasons – they are connected to a cause, inspired by the work of a nonprofit, or believe it is everyone’s duty to give back to their communities. There is a great amount of power in this intrinsic motivation; it can even help you to build a company culture and employee volunteer program that is authentic and inspiring.
It’s all about balancing your business reasons for employee engagement with your employees’ personal motivations. Step back from your program and ask yourself if you have the right mixture of encouraging employees to volunteer with the causes that align with your business, and empowering your employees to volunteer for the causes they care about. If not, here are a few easy ways to connect to the personal values of your employees. I guarantee it will increase engagement:
Tell the Story
When you talk about your employee volunteer program, don’t just talk about the numbers – tell the story of volunteering. Don’t be afraid to pull on heartstrings and highlight the emotional side of the great work you’re doing.
Understand Your Employees’ Interests
While your program may focus on education, animals or financial literacy, it’s important to understand if there are other key causes that your employees care about. There are a plethora of tools at your disposal to glean this information:
- Add a registration question to your VolunteerMatch site or put a survey out to all your employees to ask what causes are most important to them.
- Check out the popular causes feed on your site’s impact tab to see what causes folks are signing up for most.
- Run a report to see what causes folks are tracking hours for outside of the events you host.
- Once you have that information, think about planning a few events that more directly align with your employees’ passions – see if it increases your traction or attracts volunteers you wouldn’t often see at your events!
Let your employees lead by becoming champions. As locals themselves, they’ll be able to tap into what’s most meaningful for their local communities. You can even use VolunteerMatch’s Opportunity Builder to have employees propose projects they want to lead – it’s easy for you, and has a huge impact!
Encourage Employees to Find Their Causes
One of the benefits of working with VolunteerMatch is the tremendous network of close to 100,000 vetted nonprofits that need volunteers. Shout it from the rooftop: your employees can use this tool to connect to what they’re passionate about!
The Best Benefit: VTO
Giving your employees Volunteer Time Off (VTO) means your company is sending a clear message: we care about our employees, and by extention we care about what they care about. It’s a no brainer.
Remember this: Volunteering shouldn’t feel corporate, it should feel personal and authentic. So find what excites your employees and mobilize their energy. Soon you’ll have more than a volunteer program: you’ll have a volunteering movement that will shape a richer culture for your business.