Employee volunteerism: the gift that keeps on givingEmployee volunteerism: the gift that keeps on givingMany companies are drawn to the idea of giving back to the community. But cause-related activities don’t just benefit the needy. They are also good for your team. Here are three ways volunteering helps you build a great company.

Volunteerism is Good for Your Employees.

In his 2009 book Drive, author Daniel Pink says, “Humans, by their nature, seek purpose—to make a contribution and be part of a cause greater and more enduring than themselves.” If employees are unable to fill that need for purpose at work, they’ll look for it elsewhere, such as outside volunteer opportunities. “Volunteer work is nourishing people in ways that paid work simply is not,” Pink says. By providing cause-related opportunities, leaders can make a job feel like something bigger than just a means to a paycheck.

Employees Are Motivated by Purpose.

As long as employees are paid enough to make a living, Pink says they are more effectively motivated by intrinsic factors (purpose) than by extrinsic ones (cash). In fact, Pink says, neither Baby Boomers nor Millennials “rate money as the most important form of compensation. Instead, they choose a range of nonmonetary factors … [such as] the ability to give back through work.” Looking for new sources of motivation? Look no further than your local food bank.

Volunteerism Makes Your Company More Attractive to Employees.

Volunteerism makes your employees feel good—and it also makes your company look good. Companies can boost their reputations by emphasizing cause-related activities, which have been shown to improve motivation, job satisfaction, and retention.

A 2003 study called “Good Companies, Better Employees” investigated “how community involvement … can enhance employee morale, motivation, commitment, and performance.” The study followed the British Gas CSC as it helped its employees become more involved in their communities. The results were striking: Retention rates rose to 99.6 percent, and 66 percent of participating employees said that the community involvement made them feel more positive about their employer.

Furthermore, employees cited the volunteer program as a “major factor” in helping them develop skills. Several of them pursued promotions or other developmental opportunities.

Employer-supported volunteerism has more benefits than you think. It engages and motivates your employees, and improves your company’s reputation and attractiveness. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Need communications that motivate, inform, and empower your employees? Talk to RSW.