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Want a Better Workplace? Encourage Employees to Volunteer

Adam Uzialko
Adam Uzialko
Business News Daily Staff
Updated Jun 29, 2022

A new study finds that creating a culture that encourages volunteering can help employers boost employee morale, workplace atmosphere and brand perception.

  • Volunteering helps to improve morale within a company.
  • Organizations often do not have proper employee volunteer programs in place.
  • Employees tend not to volunteer because they do not have time during the day.

Creating a culture of volunteerism within your company doesn’t just help others; it also improves your organization, according to a study from Deloitte.

The research revealed that employers that encourage and promote volunteering boost employee morale, improve the workplace atmosphere and enhance the perception of their brand. The study was based on surveys of 1,000 full- and part-time employees who had volunteered over the previous 12 months.

Indeed, the study found that an overwhelming majority – 89% – of employees think organizations that sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment. In addition, 70% believe volunteer activities are more likely to boost staff morale than company-sponsored happy hours, with more than three-quarters saying volunteering is essential to employee well-being.

How does volunteering help employees?

An employee volunteer program does more than boost the morale of the employees in an organization. A happy employee equals a productive employee. When your employees feel good about being at work, they tend to work harder and take pride in their company.

An employee volunteer program can help improve the culture of an organization. First, it gives employees a chance to get to know one another better. During the workday, it can be challenging to connect, and volunteering gives employees a chance to find common ground.

When you have a volunteer program at work, it attracts the best talent. Employees place high value on social responsibility. Younger workers, such as those who recently graduated from college, want to be passionate about where they work.

Hiring an excellent employee is only half the battle; you also have to retain those excellent employees. You have to put effort into grooming employees and helping them gain the skills they need to continue to achieve and succeed. Employees benefit from communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving. When employees enter a volunteer program, they can work on building those skills.

How does volunteering help companies?

Despite the benefits of volunteering, only 40% of the employees surveyed in the Deloitte study said their employers provide access to company-sponsored or company-coordinated volunteer programs. 

Nearly 70% of the employees surveyed said they are not volunteering as much as they would like to, with nearly two-thirds of those saying one reason for that is they cannot dedicate any time during the day to volunteer.

“Employers have an opportunity to build on their volunteerism programs by creating a culture that celebrates volunteering and empowers volunteers to be more active,” said Doug Marshall, managing director of corporate citizenship for Deloitte LLP, in a statement.

In addition to providing more opportunities to volunteer, employers can do a better job of making sure employees, especially younger ones, know the benefits of doing so. Three-quarters of the millennials surveyed said they would volunteer more if they had a better understanding of the impact they were making, compared to 61% of those of all ages.

Besides explaining the benefits to the community that come from volunteering, employers could do a better job of informing employees how helping others in need can have a positive impact on themselves.

Although 80% of those who make hiring decisions said they believe active volunteers move into leadership roles more easily, only 18% of employees said they think volunteering can enhance their career opportunities. Additionally, just 36% think volunteering can help develop new skills.

“As businesses continue to find new ways to retain and attract new talent, and establish a more purpose-driven and engaged workforce, they should consider how they can better incorporate volunteerism into their culture,” Marshall said. “It’s a potential solution from which businesses, professionals and communities can benefit while supporting employees’ personal and career development and boosting their sense of well-being.”

How do you create an employee volunteer program?

If you want to improve employee morale by creating an employee volunteer program, you have to handle it properly. Here are some tips to keep in mind when developing an employee volunteer program:

  • Assess your community’s needs. Determine what needs are present in your community. Then, poll your employees to determine their interests. The hope is that you match the needs of your community with the interests of your employees, which, in turn, will inspire your employees to help locally.

  • Align it with business objectives. The focus of your employee volunteer program should be in line with your business objectives. Make sure any efforts your business takes on are meaningful to your organization and your employees.

  • Get support. Make sure everyone in the organization is onboard with the program. If the executives in your organization support your program, they will be more willing to allow their employees to participate in these programs. They also may be more likely to roll up their sleeves and help.

  • Form partnerships. Determine if you can partner with other local organizations, customers and vendors to help strengthen the support you lend.

  • Keep statistics. Record the data, including the number of employees, the time donated, the amount raised and the number of organizations you served.

  • Recognize volunteers. Reward the employees who participate in volunteer programs. Awards, gift cards, coupons or other forms of recognition can go a long way.

Image Credit:

Syda Productions / Shutterstock

Adam Uzialko
Adam Uzialko
Business News Daily Staff
Adam Uzialko is a writer and editor at and Business News Daily. He has 7 years of professional experience with a focus on small businesses and startups. He has covered topics including digital marketing, SEO, business communications, and public policy. He has also written about emerging technologies and their intersection with business, including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and blockchain.