Workplace volunteerism is increasing with popularity and benefits employees, employers, and non-profit organizations. This form of volunteering can attract younger employees, boost employee morale and help companies develop positive reputations in their communities. These are things companies need to consider to engage employees and integrate volunteerism in the workplace.

Professional Development

Companies can allow for employee volunteer opportunities that target the skills of different teams. IT employees can design websites for non-profits or managers can help refugees design business plans. Combining challenging projects with volunteering can make employees feel good about themselves and the company while developing skills critical to their work.

Goals and Tracking

To create an effective and integrative program, companies need to start by defining their goals for volunteering. This can be a certain number of hours per year or one large group event a year. These goals often coincide with companies’ reasons for wanting to start a volunteer program. To track those goals, companies need a system for recording individual employee hours. Periodic assessment can inform whether a change in goals or implementation is necessary. Tracking progress can also motivate employees.

Company Culture

By making volunteering a part of the company culture, companies can normalize volunteer participation. Managers, from team leaders to the CEO, can set an example and help integrate volunteerism as a company value by participating themselves. Human resources can include information on volunteer programs during the employee onboarding process. Updates from volunteer projects should be a regular conversation in team and company meetings.

Incentives for Employees

Integrating volunteer opportunities in the workplace is more effective if employees experience rewards for involvement. Some companies set aside a specific number of days per year for which employees can substitute work for volunteering. Other businesses offer to donate a certain amount of money per each employee volunteer hour. Competition between employees can motivate participation in a volunteer program by offering employees with the most hours prizes or a day off.

Instituting volunteer opportunities in the workplace stems from offering attractive options, a clear system for participation, and a company culture that prioritizes volunteering. When employees understand how volunteering benefits them and the company, they want to buy into the program and participate. These tips help companies devise ways to integrate volunteering into their offices.