How Virtual Volunteering Can Increase Your Employee Engagement

Despite our busy schedules focusing on our work, family and friends, giving back to a worthy cause can have personal significance and add a sense of meaning and purpose to our lives. No matter how small the contribution, knowing that you have made a positive impact on the world around you drives significant personal satisfaction.

Creating these volunteering opportunities at work not only has real benefits for businesses, such as brand goodwill and increased employee retention, but has been shown to increase employee happiness, retention and their positive impact on the world.[1][2][3]

Why is volunteering good for business?

Volunteering helps employees develop new, and refine existing, technical and people skills, make new friends, gain new perspectives and present an opportunity to make a meaningful impact, all of which can help contribute to the profitability of businesses, too.

One of the key metrics in business today is employee engagement – we want to ensure our employees are engaged because that leads to increased motivation, productivity, reduced staff turnover and therefore higher profits. In fact, studies show that profits are increased by 16% with engaged employees.

Employee volunteering leads to higher employee engagement rates, which presents a clear value proposition to starting and maintaining a corporate volunteer program. The majority of millennials also think a company’s contribution to social causes is an important factor in choosing where to work, so you’ll also attract more young talent with a strong CSR program.

Most people recognise volunteering in its traditional, face-to-face form, where you must commute somewhere, often on a work day, be onboarded by the Not-For-Profit (NFP) and collaborate alongside volunteer coordinators and staff. With the advancement of technology, however, there are now new ways to get involved without these restrictions, such as virtual volunteering.

What is virtual volunteering?

Virtual volunteering is simply any volunteering that is performed, in part or whole, over the Internet and there are a multitude of ways that you can help a Not-For-Profit or cause-based organisation.

Skilled forms of virtual volunteering can range from writing coding for a website, managing an Instagram account, mentoring a young person online, using project management software, proofreading a newsletter, helping build an app for children with learning difficulties, or designing a new fundraising event brochure and many other activities.  

Virtual volunteering complements traditional volunteering and is the preferred option for many people due to its accessibility and flexibility. As long as you have access to a computer and the Internet, you can volunteer for any opportunity you choose, for as much time as you have available, from anywhere in the world and for any Not-For-Profit, charity or For-Purpose organisation.

Why use virtual volunteering for business?

In terms of employee volunteering, matching your staff to causes they care about helps them stay motivated and engaged with your corporate volunteering program.[4] One of the other great benefits of virtual volunteering is that employees can hone their professional and technical skills while they are contributing to a good cause, especially if they want more flexibility in how they contribute!

Aside from dedicated days for the team to volunteer, night owls can volunteer virtually in the evening, parents can volunteer during family leave and most people can find an hour or two every weekend to do something meaningful. Virtual volunteering allows your staff to fit their good deeds around their busy work and life.

However, often staff don’t volunteer for very straightforward reasons, such as not being asked to, being too busy or preferring to get involved on their own. One way to address these barriers to volunteering is to provide a platform with a wide variety of worthy causes for employees to choose from and instantly engage with, when they have time and in their own way.

Communiteer addresses this directly with more than 200 Not-For-Profit and cause-based organisations signed up and ready to engage volunteers. Compared to only traditional volunteering, our system makes it more accessible and flexible for employee volunteers to get involved, more measurable for CSR managers looking to report engagement and staff contributions, as well as more scalable in including more staff with their existing resources.

So if you’re looking for a way to increase your employee engagement then setting up an employee volunteering program as part of your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility, or including virtual volunteering as part of your existing program, might just be the way to go.

Want to find out more?

Get in touch with Communiteer to hear about our trial program or schedule a demonstration today. Get in touch with us at getintouch@communiteer.org.

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