How volunteering drives employee engagement

The challenges of employee wellbeing and engagement

In today’s tight hiring market, it’s vital to focus on employee wellbeing and engagement so you can stand out as an employer of choice and attract the best talent. Wellbeing is a significant component of employee engagement. When employees experience good levels of wellbeing, they are more engaged. In turn, employees with healthy levels of engagement are more likely to stay onboard and spread favourable views about your organisation through their networks. Potential hires then learn about your commitment to employee wellbeing via these networks and are more likely to apply for and accept a role with your organisation.

However, it can be tough to create and maintain a culture that fosters good levels of employee wellbeing and healthy levels of engagement. Too often, the challenges of today’s fast-paced work environment can lead to employee burnout. Employees may experience low wellbeing and consequently low engagement. They may also report overly high levels of engagement, due to factors like unsustainably high workloads, and in turn experience low levels of wellbeing. Leaders therefore need to have strategies and initiatives in place that promote employee wellbeing and healthy levels of engagement. One such strategy is having a corporate volunteering program.

Corporate volunteering leave
Corporate volunteering leave is becoming widespread. Did you know that global coalition of multibillion-dollar firms Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose reported that 66% of its member firms offered paid volunteering leave in 2019? That’s an increase of 10 percentage points on the 2016 figure!

Corporate volunteering leave is an attractive employee benefit, driving recruitment, employer of choice ratings, staff engagement and retention.

Impact reporting
Now more than ever, companies need to ensure good ROI with activities that meet CSR goals. And as the old saying goes, ‘what gets measured, gets managed’. It’s therefore essential to have a comprehensive way to capture, report and measure the performance of your volunteering program. When you have real-time verified engagement and impact reporting, you can be proactive and focus your efforts on where and how you want to make a difference.

It’s not enough to run a volunteering program and measure the results if no one else hears about the outcomes. Don’t let all that good work go unacknowledged! When you show your team that they’re part of an organisation making a positive social impact, you’re supporting employee wellbeing. What’s more, by publicly sharing stories about your contributions you’re strengthening your relationships with charity partners, government, the education sector and the wider community.

How skills-based volunteering benefits employee wellbeing and engagement

What is skills-based volunteering
Skills-based volunteering takes place when the employee makes use of their specialised skills and expertise through voluntary work. This is in contrast with other types of volunteering where the volunteer may participate in activities which do not require pre-existing specialised skills.

While skills-based volunteering can be in-person, it’s more common for it to take place on a remote basis. Remote volunteering enables employees to use their skills and expertise anytime, anywhere to help good causes all around the world. Through making contributions in a flexible way, employees can have a positive social impact.

Charities and community groups provide critical support, but budget constraints can impede them from hiring the experts they need to deliver initiatives and campaigns most effectively. That’s where skills-based volunteering can make a real impact. It bridges the gap between talent at your organisation and the needs of charities, NGOs and community groups.

As the skills humans possess are multitude, so too are the potential types of skills-based volunteering. Some examples include:

  • IT professionals conducting an audit of IT technologies in use at a charity
  • Marketing managers advising community sports teams on how to choose what social media platforms to use
  • Lawyers providing pro bono advice to those in need within the community
  • Leaders and other senior executives serving on the boards of charities and NGOs
  • Translators and interpreters delivering pro bono services to people in need
  • Management consultants giving strategic advice to local charities

  • How skills-based volunteering helps your organisation overcome these challenges

    Skills-based volunteering helps employees feel like they’re contributing to something of value, rather than volunteering that may not make the best of use of their expertise and professional experience. When employees volunteer their skills to a cause they believe in, their mental health can benefit. Research shows that people who volunteer see a boost to their mental health versus people who don’t volunteer.

    Moreover, skills-based volunteering can bring together employees from different teams in ways that may not happen in the course of their normal work. Consequently, skills-based volunteering can create strong interpersonal bonds and networks between employees. Many employees really value these bonds and the feeling of connection that comes from being part of a community. In fact, research finds employers can leverage employee social connections to drive workplace wellbeing.

    By boosting employee wellbeing and supporting healthy levels of engagement through skills-based volunteering, you’re strengthening your employer brand and putting your organisation in a strong position to attract the best talent.

    How Be Collective enhances your corporate volunteering program

    Boost participant numbers
    Engaging more staff to use their volunteer leave and to volunteer more frequently relies on a number of key requirements. Be Collective understands this and that’s why we’ve built the functionality into our platform.

    Knowing the impact employees have made in the community
    Be Collective includes rich data analytics that allow you to capture, track and report the social impact of volunteering activity. Individuals and organisations can use our Social Impact Reporting and Social CVs to share the impact with others.

    Aligning volunteer activities to organisational social pillars
    Be Collective enables organisations to find, identify and partner with volunteer organisations by cause area across an interconnected digital ecosystem. In this way, organisations can provide concierged volunteer opportunities that support their strategic social pillars.

    Quick and easy volunteer identification, matching and management
    Be Collective is a digital management and engagement platform that automates volunteer program administration. It helps connect volunteers to community opportunities with streamlined processes and tools that encourage participation and bring rigour and accountability – but not admin and overheads – to volunteer management.

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