Why Your Small Business Should Embrace Employee Volunteering
We all know that on a personal level, we should try and give back to our communities in any way we can. Have you considered bringing those same volunteering efforts to your business? There are numerous ways that helping others can also help your business simultaneously.
In this article we want to focus on why employee volunteering is good for business and how encouraging charitable work will improve your office’s morale, productivity and reputation.
Giving Back Keeps Your Staff Healthy
Every business owner knows that a healthy staff is a more productive staff. Healthy employees take fewer sick days, are more engaged at work, can manage customer service more effectively and can reduce the overall cost of the group’s healthcare benefit package.
Recent scientific studies have spotlighted the many health benefits of volunteering. For instance:
• When you volunteer, happy chemicals are created in your brain automatically and dopamine, serotonin and endorphins are released. These organic chemicals contribute to feelings of accomplishment, usefulness and euphoria.
The release of these chemicals is probably why 76% of people who volunteered in the last twelve months said that volunteering made them feel healthier.
• Volunteering can help you and your staff put your own stresses into perspective when you help those that are less fortunate. After helping someone in need, chances are your own worries will seem trivial or minor compared to the deep stresses others in your communities are faced with.
When you support employee volunteering, you’re giving your staff the opportunity to decrease their own personal and professional anxieties. 78% of volunteers admitted that giving back to their community lowered their stress levels.
• Depending on the volunteer project your team takes on, you can all benefit greatly from the health benefits associated with helping others. There are some activities that’ll keep you running around and on your feet the entire time you volunteer; supplying an excellent group workout. Other charitable organizations encourage volunteers to meet new people and have a one-on-one interaction. If any of your employees are depressed, meeting new people and having genuine conversations can have a major impact on one’s own self esteem. Cardiologists also agree that decreasing your stress level will lead to a healthier heart.
80% of people who volunteer feel like they have more control over their health. By opening up your office to charitable efforts, you’re helping others while helping your staff gain a sense of control over their health.
Volunteering is Great for Team Building
Here at A Courteous Communications, our virtual receptionists are rock star volunteers. We love putting on our company volunteer shirts and going out into the Orlando community to work together as a team. There’s a sense of pride that we all have for our company and the good work we do both in the office and in the community.
Employer-support volunteering programs allow your employees to work together for the benefit of a stranger. Encouraging these inter office friendships while giving back to the community will make those relationships even stronger. There’s something about feeding the homeless or building a house that allows your employees to connect on a personal level with one another.
Employee volunteering is good for business because it allows your staff to become personally involved with their colleagues. While volunteering, personal histories and experiences are shared freely. When your team is able to think about their teammates feelings and can understand their unique backgrounds, you’ll be a step closer into creating the ideal working environment.
Office Vibe’s infographic on inter office relationships shares exactly why you want your staff to become friends with one another:
- 70% of employees say friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life.
- 50% of employees with a best friend at work reported that they feel a strong connection with their company.
- 74% of female employees and 58% of male employees will refuse a higher paying job if it meant not getting along with coworkers.
Fostering positive relationships in your community will nurture healthy and friendly relationships within your office.
Charitable Donations Make an Impact
If for some reason you can’t make the time to volunteer together, sending a check on behalf of the team can send a big message to anyone affiliated with your company.
• What donating says to your staff…
When you donate some of your hard-earned profits to a community charity, you’re letting your staff know that you’re more than just a company. Talented employees flock to organizations that are focused on more than just the bottom line. Your employees will build a stronger connection to you and your business when you show that you care about others. If you care about your community, they’ll also believe that you care about them as human beings and not just work horses.
• What donating says to your customers…
Donating to community charities shows your customers that your business is socially responsible. In turn, your charitable efforts will lead your customers to believe that your products or services perform better than your competitors. Experts attribute this action, “To a ‘benevolent halo effect’ where positive attitudes toward a company translate into positive beliefs about the company’s products.”
• What donating says to your community…
Buying a table at a charity gala or donating a sum of money to help those in need will skyrocket your reputation in the community. Not only does donating to charity help you network with other like-minded individuals, you’ll also start to attract the attention of others in your community. Your brand will not be seen as a money hungry corporation but rather, a company that focuses on giving back when they can. And you can’t turn a blind eye to the charitable tax deductions Uncle Sam has for companies that donate money to non-profit organizations.
Start an employee volunteering program today!
We hope you’ve learned a little more about why employee volunteering is good for business, but more importantly, how you and your team can truly make a difference.
To learn a little more about the Orlando-based charities our business answering service volunteers for, check out our latest blog here that spotlights some of the non-profits we work with.