Employee Volunteering – What’s It Worth to An Organization?

A recent blog by Charities@Work made a clear case that workplace volunteering boosts employee engagement and retention, saves money and delivers multiple benefits to the employer.

Here’s how:

Workplace Volunteering Improves Employee Engagement

An article in About.com listed the top 10 reasons behind employee resignation – things like poor relationships with managers and co-workers, repetitive work, an unchallenging work environment with few professional growth opportunities, lack of meaningful work, an organization’s financial stability, overall corporate culture and lack of management recognition for jobs well done. Each of these top 10 reasons can be reversed through workplace volunteering and giving programs that allow employees of all levels to leave office hierarchies behind and work equally towards achieving common goals outside the workplace; this in turn leads to shared experiences and deeper bonding, with positive spillover effects in the office. In a survey, 64% said volunteering strengthened relationships with work colleagues.

Another survey, by Cone Research, found that about 80% prefer working for socially responsible companies, often for less pay. So workplace volunteering, cash or skills-based giving and matching employer donations increase workplace satisfaction and make employees feel good about their jobs, resulting in greater productivity and lower turnover. Research at the University of Georgia found that employees volunteers were more willing to help out colleagues, put in extra effort at doing their jobs, were less likely to waste time on the job and felt more positive about their employer. So organizations should seriously consider implementing the right mix of employee-centric corporate philanthropy programs.

Employee Turnover is Expensive

Employee turnover, especially when it involves solid performers, substantially disrupts ongoing projects and creates job vacancies that are difficult, time consuming and expensive to recover from. Jobs that pay less than $75,000 per year (that’s 90% of all U.S. jobs), typically cost a company 20% of the salary level, or up to $15,000. This ‘turnover cost’ rises to a minimum of about $100,000 – a whopping 150% of base salary for top performers that are paid over $75,000. But a well-executed workplace giving program fosters workplace pride, improves retention and helps bring in quality employees through referrals – all at a fraction of the ‘turnover cost’.

And, thankfully, developing and administering an effective corporate philanthropy program does not have to be expensive. At the low end, small corporations can put together effective in-house programs. The cost of workplace giving programs typically rises with the number of employees but even medium and large corporations can leverage technology to implement scalable programs at a fraction of ‘turnover cost’… so, the economics of giving makes sense across organizations of all sizes.

Employee Engagement Reduces Turnover

A study by PwC showed that an organization’s most committed employees were 57% more engaged in their jobs and 87% less likely to resign than employees who felt disconnected. And a Gallup study found significantly higher productivity, profitability and customer ratings, less absenteeism and turnover, and fewer safety incidents in corporate cultures that fostered employee engagement. According to Gallup’s research, organizations with an average of 90% engaged employees reported about 15% higher earnings than their competitors. Conversely, organizations with an average of 70% engaged employees reported about 2% lower earnings than their peers.

So, clearly, it pays big-time to invest in effective, management-driven and strategically advantageous workplace giving programs.

For more information about Employee Giving, Download our guide HERE

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