Education Report
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Education Report

Virtual Volunteerism Helps Employees Stay Engaged

Virtual Volunteerism is made manageable by Nepris which hosts sessions with working professionals and students who are learning at home. Now with COVID-19 as a global crisis, Nepris is more relevant than ever and parents and their children have free access.

COVID-19 is a global crisis, not only for its impact on human life but also for its impact on corporations and individuals. The burden for keeping employees engaged and working has fallen squarely on the human resources department. And, the toll on worker motivation and engagement looms when all around them colleagues are being laid off or furloughed.

We are facing social distancing rules for an undetermined amount of time, so HR executives have another worry — how to maintain morale. For most of us, all we can do is stay home and practice social distancing. Those guidelines are critical, but HR leaders can find ways for all their workers to do more — They can help them volunteer virtually in schools, sharing their expertise with an audience especially eager to hear from them.

The way to do that is with a virtual connections platform called Nepris.

Nepris is called a school-to-industry platform and it has already been a virtual meeting grounds for experts to chat with thousands of students at more than 600 school districts. On April 9, the company is hosting an introductory webinar for HR pros so that they can learn how — even in this new era of social distancing — employees can volunteer and talk with teachers and their students. And, now that Nepris is opened up to families, the audience is even larger. The webinar, which features Verizon and AT&T, will run April 9 at 3 p.m. ET. The archived webinar will be available on YouTube.

How To Get Involved with Nepris

There are two ways companies and professionals can get involved with Nepris. They can fill a teacher’s existing request for a speaker on a particular topic that the teacher has selected. As an example a teacher in Houston wants her students to talk with a heavy equipment operator so they can understand more about the job and training involved.

The second option is for professionals to offer an “industry chat” to share their job experiences or to take students on a virtual field trip if they have access to a facility. “This is the perfect time to show the inner workings of a museum or to join in a chat while working at home,” said Sabari Raja, the co-founder of Nepris. Each of these conversations help students connect their classroom learning to a future job or perhaps their college path.

Each session is added to Nepris’ library of over 9,000 videos which are now free to teachers, students, and families during the COVID crisis.

Volunteerism Helps Ease Stress

There is good reason to volunteer when stress levels are high. Workers who volunteered through their company were 13 percent happier and 15 percent more satisfied with their lives, according to a 2017 survey from Neighborly. And today’s workers are not only willing to volunteer, but three out of four millennials say they consider their ability to contribute to society when choosing a place to work, according to a 2016 study by Harvard Business Review.

There is evidence that volunteer activities are more likely to boost employee morale than company-sponsored happy hours. Most happy hours aren’t working so well anyway said one engineer we spoke to who didn’t want to share his name. “It’s really just a posing time,” he said. “It’s difficult to have a conversation of any substance when there are 20 people in the same chat or Zoom room.”

Sign-Up Employees or for a Company-wide Partnership

Companies can sign up to partner with Nepris in a more formal way or they can encourage employees to sign up for any of the sessions teachers are requesting. “We are still getting dozens of requests each day,” added Raja. “This is a pivotal moment in our history and a time when professionals can have a significant and positive impact on the lives of children around the country.”

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