Offering employees time to volunteer can be an effective, low-cost way to improve recruitment and retention. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your program.
Time to volunteer is a benefit with a lot of value for employees and potential employees, especially the new crop of twenty-somethings entering the workforce now. In a recent survey of younger workers, 79% percent said they’d like to work for a company that cares about its contribution to society. Structured volunteer opportunities can be a great selling point while you’re recruiting.
The money to invest in these programs is usually minimal. Sure it’ll cost some time to let folks participate, but what you gain in recruitment, job satisfaction and boosting people’s skill more than makes up for it.
Here are some keys to getting the most out of a volunteer program:
- Publicize it. Make sure your program gets a prominent display on the company’s Web site, recruiting materials, etc.
- Think small and local. You don’t need to send employees to third-world countries to help them make a difference. Nearby schools, for example, are great places to do mentoring and other work.
- Make it skills-based. In a recent Deloitte survey, 91% of employees said skills-based volunteering would help them become better at their current jobs. For example, accounting employees can get more experience by volunteering to do accounting work for a non-profit organization.