Volunteers are happier workers. For example, at Deloitte, the largest professional services network in the world, 74% employees of reported in a 2017 survey that volunteerism gave them an improved sense of purpose. 77% of volunteers said company-sponsored volunteer activities are essential to their well-being. An enlightened company with enough resources should both enable and reward employee volunteering. For the company itself, CSR is also good for business, creating brand awareness in a way that advertising cannot. Companies wanting a CSR presence need to develop a program to provide skill-based opportunities for their employees that incentivizes participation by including it in the performance review process.
Aside from being crucial for the employee and their employer, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is may not only benefit the company’s immediate community but also have impact in remote locations where online programs can be established.
Effective CSR programs may be employee-driven, or may be established by a top-down process. The key to success is to make corporate volunteering an integral part of professional development. Opportunities to practice business-related skills and adapting them for different audiences and new sectors challenge employees to new heights in refining their skills. This prepares the employees for new communities and new objectives when using skilled volunteering.
In small to medium businesses, it may seem impossible to create a wide-reaching skilled volunteer program. It can seem daunting for a company of 10-30 people. But smaller companies have the advantage of being more flexible and in the end have a wider reach than more constricted large CSR efforts. Employees at smaller companies can take votes on what areas they’d like to volunteer with and can split into groups with different target areas. All that is needed is a strong, CSR-committed management and a staff willing to make new inroads in their community.
The same holds true for large to medium sized businesses, especially retail, technology, and financial services, creating brand loyalty. Thus, it can open a new set of customers. Technology provides skilled volunteers a world of opportunity to teach their skills to billions of people.
When medium or large companies use their resources to develop extensive volunteer programs for employees, the employee-volunteers have many options for participation and can choose the path of skilled volunteering they think they can contribute to and learn from. It will not only assist in the group or person being taught by the skilled volunteer, but will as the Deloitte survey shows, contribute to the sense of purpose and an improved sense of well-being.
Employees who volunteer are happier work better together. CSR programs help companies raise brand awareness while creating a positive impact on society. CSR is therefore a win-win-win: for employees, for corporations, and for communities.