Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Can Volunteering Help Your Company Culture?

Can volunteering your time actually boost your employee morale? In 2011, over 64 million Americans volunteered their time and efforts to some capacity. This should be an indication of how popular the idea of giving back truly is. People feel better when they can help others, and workers feel better when they know their company is socially responsible.

In fact, setting up an employee volunteer program at your company can be a great way to improve your company culture and boost your employee morale. A study in 2010 found 76 percent of workers felt better about their company if they invested in the community through volunteer work.

This is good news for both the community and your company culture. It means that by giving back you can also receive the appreciation of your employees. It’s been proven that when employees are happier and more satisfied at work they are also more productive.

So what are some tips for setting up a great volunteer program to improve your company culture and maybe even attract the top talent you want to see on the other side of the webcam in a video interview? Here are some tips:

Tap into your employees’ passions
You want to get employees motivated to help, which means you need to find causes that a good chunk of your workforce cares passionately about. Maybe you have an office full of animal lovers who would like nothing better than to spend some time volunteering outside the office at the local animal shelter. Or maybe half of your workforce is highly allergic to animals and this helpful volunteer idea would be a sneeze-inducing nightmare.

Just like any aspect of your company culture, it’s important to know and understand your workforce. It’s hard to pick a cause everyone will be passionate about if you don’t understand your employees. Spend some time getting to know your workers and what they care about. This research can help you truly bond with your workers and will help you align their interests with the best volunteer opportunities.

Get involved in the community
The best way to ensure your volunteering program is a success is to look at the needs of your local community. Working with outside community groups and nonprofits is a great way to network in your local community while doing a little good. Your company will become known as a socially responsible entity, and you’ll be able to network with local business leaders and area residents.

Once you’ve picked an issue or cause everyone cares deeply about, look into your community to see what ways this cause can be addressed. You might even want to check out a site like Volunteer Match, which helps companies and individuals match up with local volunteering opportunities. This will help your company find a good cause that needs dedicated and passionate people like your workforce.

Promote your volunteer efforts
Now that you have a great volunteering program in place, make sure to promote this initiative on your corporate web page and social media accounts. The reason for this is simple: to show off your company culture to prospective candidates.

Showing off your employee volunteer program might just nab you candidates who feel passionately about helping others. In the video interview, you can use your volunteer program as a selling point to attract high-quality, socially conscious candidates.

Having a great employee volunteer program won’t just help the community, it will also help brighten your employee morale. More engaged employees are also more productive employees, meaning investing time to volunteer will actually help both your company culture and your bottom line.

What are some tips you have for setting up an employee volunteer program? Share in the comments!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by SandiaLabs.

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).

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