Modern consciousness and the critical need to sustain the World brings an expectation on corporations to take responsibility. We hear the term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) bandied about and it feels like a heavy undertaking for most businesses but it really does not have to be. It simply calls for a commitment to make basic changes and embed these into your values, no matter how large or small your company is. Those that are visibly making the commitment see great return for their business and one of easiest changes to make is to support meaningful employee volunteering.
This doesn't just mean team days out to paint a fence or dig a garden, it means employees accessing opportunities to share their skills and energies with causes that resonate with their own intrinsic values.
Most charities need additional support for their current campaign activities and fundraising or access to skills they don't have funding for - marketing, sales, IT, accounting, creative, maintenance, legal and so forth. Releasing your employees for the smallest amount of time will of course have a tremendous impact but, as undeniably evidenced across a multitude of studies, it'll be exponentially positive for your business too:
91% of consumers expect businesses to operate responsibility (Cone Communications/ Ebiquity Global). Companies that apply good CSR practices, such as Employee Volunteering, see increased business performance from improved reputation and client loyalty. In fact, a recent study from Kenexa High Performance Institute in London demonstrated a 19 times higher return on assets compared to those that don’t practice CSR.
Millennials value purpose over money. 64% won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong CSR practices and 75% would actually take a pay cut to work for one that does (Cone Communications). Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) attracts decent people with strong ethics and increases employee engagement. Statistically, those who are most engaged with their employer perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave (Corporate Leadership Council).
Through volunteering, employees develop new skills from exposure to varying environments and teams, (CIPD ‘Volunteering to Learn. report cites many examples). Additionally, 76% of people who volunteer feel healthier and 94% experience a positive impact on their mood (UnitedHealth Group survey).
The financial benefits can far outweigh the cost of providing extra paid time off. An ESV program that provides 24 accumulative hours each year might cost an average of £6,960 for 20 employees but retaining just 1 of them (data suggests this would be more) could save over £8,500 in recruitment and training. Add to this the improved business performance, increased employee productivity and skills development then that’s a wonderful ROI.
Implementation is simply deciding how much time to give, putting in place a policy and delivering the great news to employees. Installing a service like Vtues, where individuals connect directly with causes through a matching platform, means low business impact and management time with easy, automated, reporting and validation of support.
61% of people aged 16 - 64 who contributed to the Community Life Survey (2017) said they do not have time to volunteer because of work commitments. They represent 19 million people in UK who want to help but can’t. With easy ESV implementation this is 456 million hours to be made available every year so skilled and passionate people can change the World for good!