Employee Volunteering: The ROI generating toolkit of your CSR

Gone are the days when corporations viewed volunteering as an afterthought, as against a priority today. While there are multiple reasons for the said change, it is primarily driven by the millennial workforce sentiment. According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey, millennials are less impressed by the scale and size of the business. It is the profile or ‘positive energy’ that surrounds the business, which instantly attracts them. Furthermore, the survey found that young talent is least likely to stick with an organization that operates contrary to their personal beliefs. Whereas, organizations that support the employee’s cause or belief through active volunteering programs stand a great chance to retain their talent for longer.

Which is why more and more companies today have recognized that volunteering doesn’t just impact the community and those who need help; it also has the power to positively impact the bottom line.

So let’s understand the ROI of employee volunteering. Here are ways in which a volunteer program can produce high ROI for a brand.

Increased collaboration among employees

Collaboration doesn’t improve with open office spaces or more meetings, as many corporate organizations would like to believe. It only happens when employees start trusting each other more and connect at a more human level. And that is what happens when employees enroll for volunteering programs. When people from different backgrounds and ranks come together to serve a social purpose that is higher than their professional targets, there is a certain bond that is built. This camaraderie translates into better team dynamics and performance at workplace. People start behaving as a cohesive team and this results in improved ROI.

For instance, the Mars Ambassador Program picks 90 ambassadors out of 80,000 associates all over the world, to benefit from a development opportunity. This is based on the Mars Volunteer Program and is a great way to make an employee more suited for a leadership role.

Greater Awareness about Self

Becoming more self-aware can help employees cope with stress, deal with people and ideate even in difficult situations. And this is what volunteer programs do. For example, taking some classes at a local school or doing volunteer vet work at a pet hospital can make employees more sensitive about others as well as themselves. And increased self-awareness can teach them indirectly about managing conflicts, taking the right decisions and coordinating smoothly with others. These qualities will consequently improve employee performance, reaping higher ROI for the company.

Effect on Revenue

The equation seems simple here. On one hand, there has been a clear link established between volunteering activities, employee satisfaction and higher employee engagement. On the other hand, there is research like the SAP study which reveals that even a 1% rise or fall in employee engagement can cause a fluctuation of $40 million in revenue. Hence, we can safely conclude that employee volunteering programs (EVP) have a positive impact on revenue.

Retaining Millennial Employees

The millennial generation doesn’t just look for a good salary in their jobs. They want growth opportunities and opportunities that will help them give back to the community. They are often altruistic and desire to make the world a better place. So, to retain such millennial talent, engaging them is essential. Volunteering is the perfect way to do so, and the more you retain millennial employees, the greater will be your ROI.

The Human ROI

While CSR managers are eager to calculate the ROI of employee volunteering programs (EVP), it’s important to also remember that there is always the human or qualitative ROI that cannot be quantitively measured but which brings strong and powerful benefits to the company in the form of increased employee engagement, better productivity and more loyalty. It also allows the management to discover newer skill sets and promising leaders.

Overall, a successful EVP results in more invested employees. And that is the final ROI that every company seeks.

If your company is ready to explore the benefits of EVP, drop us a mail!