How Corporate Volunteering Boost Workplace Productivity

Workplace volunteerism allows a company to increase both its social impact and employee engagement.

How Corporate Volunteering Boost Workplace Productivity

If giving means doing the “right thing," then doing the right thing has some very practical rewards. Being a “giver” removes you from mediocrity. And that’s not just a flowery virtue shared among amateur philosophers at the coffee shop.

It’s a statistically proven fact that givers will appear as both the best and worst-performing employees. Yes. I also said, “worst." Where you end up has a lot to do with how and when you give. All things considered, it’s better to be a giver.

Adam Grant is Wharton’s highest-rated professor. In his book “Give and Take," he explains how giving can go well beyond the emotional rewards which are so often taught to us in our childhood. He’s developed three categories of people; “givers”, “takers” and “matches." Where the first two are self-explanatory, and the third represents those who show a preference for reciprocity and are careful not to wander into habits of unchecked giving or taking.

“Across occupations, if you examine the link between reciprocity styles and success, the givers are more likely to become champs—not only chumps”-Adam Grant“ Give and Take," and Take," Pg. 7

Givers come in all types and sometimes are hard to distinguish from organizations or individuals who are simply exploiting a situation for personal gain. Let’s keep things simple and assume that we’re only referring to givers who do not have ulterior motives. When giving is an activity for civic-minded volunteers, the employee may be presented with some choices.

1. International corporate philanthropy

The level of ambition on the corporate side of giving can be surprisingly aggressive.

Specifically, we’re seeing a growing interest in corporate-owned non-profit organizations that are always seeking volunteers. One example is ICVolunteers (International Communications Volunteers). It’s an international non-profit organization specializing in communications. They help promote economic growth and sustainable environmental stewardship in developing countries. They organize conferences and help with various areas of communication. It’s owned by multiple corporations and isn’t necessarily set up to change a culture inside a particular corporate environment. 

Nevertheless, it can be rewarding to a prospective employee and his or her employer. It has the potential to influence the general attitude of the individual which in turn, can influence the culture in which he or she works. 

At least that would be the perception of some employers when it’s spotted on a resume.

2. Corporate volunteer programs

A Gallup survey shows that about 71% of American workers are not engaged in the workplace and that 19% of the workforce is “actively disengaged.” It almost goes without saying that the big benefits, in this case, are cultural and have been made a high priority in many corporate agendas. This is critical if one believes (as many do) that your company may suffer from a trend of disengagement without an aggressive plan to reverse it.

Corporate volunteer programs vary in scope and participation. An example could be an after-school robotics program, which piques the interest of local kids, gives your engineering group a way to vent their tinkering impulses, and ties the culture of the company to the culture of the community. With the community on your side, going global is that much easier.

Returning to the idea of what a giver is, we see that there are many potential opportunities for employers to help the giver to give.

3. Employee satisfaction & productivity

According to research, it’s been indicated that the more engaged employees are with their company, the higher level of satisfaction they have with their own jobs, as this means they will be investing more of themselves for the success of a business. As a result, this can lead to a higher level of commitment and loyalty from employees while promoting and supporting the company’s mission, strategy, and brand all at the same time.

Furthermore, engaged employees are also often a company’s top performers who are dedicated to going “the extra mile” to help achieve a business’s goals. Simply put: a more engaged employee is better motivated, more efficient, and less inclined to absenteeism when they feel more involved with their company. They’ll even be slighter hesitant to promote business events and news through their own social media accounts.

The behaviors described herein, universally apply with equal benefits in practically every social environment, whether it’s within a community, your family, or an organization. Every legitimate opportunity to volunteer has merit and the potential to lead you away from a life of mediocrity.

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