Benefits of Skilled Volunteering
Skilled Volunteering- the Next Big thing!
Skill-based volunteering is becoming the ‘new frontier’ for companies looking for ways to really make a mark via their community investments. Recent research conducted by NAB and Deloitte both point to the benefits of a skilled-volunteering program.
This research offers some compelling food for thought on ways to potentially increase staff retention and recruitment, improve employee engagement and help the community at the same time!
Benefits to the Company
Attracting top staff – Engaging staff in your CSR initiatives is a way to attract and retain talent. In a global workforce study by Towers Perrin, the professional services firm, CSR is the third most important driver of employee engagement overall. (http://business.time.com/2012/05/28/why-companies-can-no-longer-afford-to-ignore-their-social-responsibilities/)
According to a Deloitte survey conducted last year, 70% of those aged 18 to 26 say a company’s commitment to the community has an influence on their decision to work there.
Staff Engagement – An engaged employee emotionally invests in the success of their organisation. One of the main areas that contribute to employees feeling more engaged is the opportunity to personally grow and develop.
The 2011 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT survey found that employees who frequently volunteer indicated higher levels of engagement from those who rarely or never do.
An effective corporate volunteer program provides unparalleled professional development opportunities. Employees that have the opportunity to use their skills in different environments report:
- increased creativity,
- increased productivity,
- increased commitment and better morale
- an increased entrepreneurial approach.
Engaged employees offer better customer service - To boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, companies must focus their internal efforts on engaging employees if they hope to offer the best customer service experience possible - unengaged employees can't create engaged customers. (from http://www.1to1media.com/view.aspx?docid=34114)
The 2012 Red Balloon/Altus Q Employee Engagement Capabilities Report found that time off for volunteering was the activity most likely to improve and employer’s engagement score.
Staff Retention – Much of the time, the cause to stay is…cause. Highly engaged workers are less likely to want to leave the company.
Human resources professionals increasingly recognize that amongst the most important components of any employee retention strategy are diverse corporate giving programs that reflect the values of employees. Implementing an internal employee giving and corporate volunteer platform with a variety of non-profit choices allows workers to conveniently support the causes that are near and dear to their heart. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/causeintegration/2012/06/26/the-best-gift-you-can-give-your-employees/)
And when a company offers matching contributions for every donation an employee makes, the message the company sends to the employee is “I care about what you care about.”
According to the eighth annual Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey, employees who frequently participate in workplace volunteer activities are more likely to be proud, loyal and satisfied employees, as compared to those who rarely or never volunteer.
“If building a more committed, engaged, creative and energetic workplace is high on your company's agenda, then corporate volunteering might be the foundation of your staff retention and development program.” Deborah Mobberley, The Centre for Volunteering, NSW Volunteering
Mobberley suggests some of Australia’s leading corporations are developing a competitive advantage through corporate volunteering. She argues that these companies are seeing the benefits of ‘better teamwork, leadership development and enhanced employee loyalty and morale’. (NAB 2007)
Leadership and skill development – According to a study on skills-based volunteering by True Impact, skills-based volunteers are 142% more likely to report job-related skills-gains than traditional volunteers.
Encouraging employees to apply workplace skills in unfamiliar environments can potentially enhance existing skills and develop new ones. This can generate material benefit for the individual volunteer, the employer and the community organisation.
Research over time by the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs in Australia suggests that companies are seeking and realising a skills transfer back into their organisations. This can occur when volunteers, especially when operating within a skill-based arrangement, can pick up and apply innovation observed during their volunteer placement. (NAB 2007)
It’s good for business
- Stakeholder engagement
- Building social capital
- Community license to operate - a survey by Landor Associates, the branding company, found that 77% of consumers say it is important for companies to be socially responsible. Numerous studies indicate that a company’s CSR policies increasingly factor into consumer’s decisions.
- Corporate citizenship - Corporate volunteer programs demonstrate social responsibility to a company’s stakeholders, community and workforce.
- Produce positive business and social outcomes
- Strengthening reputational capital - Corporate volunteering has the potential to generate positive reputation outcomes for a company (http://business.time.com/2012/05/28/why-companies-can-no-longer-afford-to-ignore-their-social-responsibilities/)Ten years ago, for instance, only about a dozen Fortune 500 companies issued a CSR or sustainability report. Now the majority does.
- PR opportunities - Corporate volunteering is an effective way of generating positive public relations and profiling unique and compelling situations to media. It also enhances the way the corporation is seen and patronised by consumers and customer.
Quite simply, companies care about CSR because their customers do.
84 percent of Deloitte’s pro bono projects resulted in significant relationship or exposure gains materially related to new business efforts.
Health and wellbeing - Volunteer work has long been touted as good for the soul, but the practice is also good for your heart. Research has shown that volunteering activities can improve your mood, strengthen your body and reduce stress. Volunteering has been known to improve outcomes for people coping with an illness. Volunteers have also been found to recover more quickly from surgery, sleep better and generally have healthier immune systems compared to people who do not volunteer.
“Our volunteers return with greater focus on the patient; they return as leaders with greater passion, energy, confidence, creativity, gratitude and practical knowledge of how to do more with less.” Ahsiya Posner Mencin, PULSE Volunteer Partnership, GlaxoSmithKline
Benefits to the Employee
- a sense of pride and satisfaction in their workplace
- positive impact on their career
- professional development
- sense of personal achievement
- enhance existing skills and develop new ones.
Benefits to the community group
- access to intellectual capital residing in corporations
- up-to-date business information
Figure 1.1 shows the additional benefit that can accrue to a non-profit organisation through skill-based volunteering.
How goodcompany can help
Launching a skilled volunteer program and identifying suitable partner organisations and volunteer opportunities can be difficult. goodcompany is a highly innovative, focused and unique model that engages thousands of skilled professionals and has an extraordinary impact in the community.
Using the service and experience that goodcompany can provide can shorten the learning curve and provide useful inside knowledge about local volunteer opportunities and how to most effectively manage the program. We can tailor a program to suit your business and provide reports of the outcome on your investment.
For more information please contact CEO Ash Rosshandler on 03 9686 6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Global trends in Skill-based volunteering, May 2007, by NAB
2011 Executive Summary: Deloitte Volunteer Impact Survey, 2011, Deloitte