Volunteer Time Off: Why Companies Should Provide It

Volunteer Time Off has become a huge part of corporate social responsibility and is a growing trend among many companies. All over the country, companies are creating a culture of giving back to the society as a part of their corporate identity. More and more companies are providing a certain number of hours per year for their employees to engage in volunteer work, separate from the company-sponsored programs.

The flexibility of Volunteer Time Off policies has become a huge attraction to millennials working for companies. Giving employees opportunities to volunteer builds loyalty for your company. Why should every company provide Volunteer Time Off?

Happier Employees

Volunteering is no easy work. But the chances are that when you’re done with the volunteer shift, you most likely feel good about what you’ve accomplished or contributed to. The feelings associated with volunteer work obviously make us feel happy. And when happy, your overall well-being improves and you have something good to talk about and share when you’re back at work.

Happy employees are usually more productive. By engaging more in volunteer work, you become a better coworker and this, in turn, benefits the company. “As an organization, it’s our responsibility to improve our community.” Says Jenny Van Gelder, Co-Founder of Executive Auto Shippers, “And giving our employees the ability to volunteer just magnifies that impact.”

Increased Creativity

Regardless of the volunteer tasks that employees are assigned, new situations or new programs are likely going to come up. Employees are literally forced to think outside of the box to solve community problems and come up with ideas that can change how the company can make an impact in the society. This alone has some big rewards.

When employees are exposed to challenges they’re unfamiliar with, they’re able to build new neural pathways and be more creative. Volunteer work is one of the best creativity stimulators. Rewarding your employees with volunteer work and opportunities ensures that they will reward you with better work all around.

Better Connections and Networks

When you’re volunteering, you’re meeting and interacting with other people, and this helps you create better connections and networks. By engaging in community work, you’re able to build a new network of people that have one thing in common with you, and that can come in handy later. The fact that you’re spending quality non-work time with your coworkers provides you with the opportunity to learn different things about them and share experiences.

These experiences are key to building relationships that come into play in any working environment. By volunteering together, employees are able to build a positive and more interactive working environment that encourages team building. Volunteer Time Off helps create a more collaborative and cohesive team for your company.

Improved leadership

In any working environment, it’s important that the leadership offers a great environment for employees to work comfortably. In volunteer work, you’re handling a totally new situation where another volunteer is in charge and is an expert. Unlike in a working environment where leaders have a say in what employees do, volunteer jobs involve tasks that require everyone to contribute, no matter their leadership roles.

The different scenarios in which volunteer work puts us in also makes us thankful, humble and perhaps even less concerned about our differences. When leaders and employees engage in Volunteer Time Off programs, your company is essentially investing in capacity building that is a huge reward for you and your employees.

Today, more than 21% of companies have Volunteer Time Off policies for their employees. Volunteer programs that focus on employees’ professional skills are the most effective. Additionally, corporate social responsibility work can prove highly rewarding for employees while also offering leadership the chance to create better connections with colleagues from different parts of the organization.

FG Editorial Team
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