Published by Katherine Bray on 20 Mar 2012 at 11:00 am
Company volunteerism is an up and coming way to grow the workplace. What’s in it for the companies?
At present, about 35% of companies utilize some type of formal Employee Volunteer Program (EVP). This is a prime example of what it means to integrate all three dimensions of sustainability (environmental, economic, social) and demonstrates the larger trend of rising activism in America. This movement has clear benefits for our communities, but what’s in it for the companies?
There is now a sufficient amount of data supporting the claim that volunteering raises worker performance. One such study by the University of Florida shows that at companies with a formal volunteering program, workers are happier, more focused, and more productive after serving in their community. Even when employees don’t participate, they report a stronger bond with companies that have an active EVP.
“Rather than siphoning off work hours or adding distractions, when workers are given permission to engage in public service they work harder, apply themselves on the job and support their employers in the workplace and in the community,” said Jessica Rodell, who did the research for her doctoral dissertation in management at UF.
Another study suggests that the top priorities in workplace volunteer activities include: the potential to alleviate a social issue (36%), help the nonprofit function more effectively (31%) and serve more clients (31%.) The mesh of philanthropy and business strategy is inspiring and another great example of whole systems thinking in tackling issues of sustainability.
To share your story or for more information on EVP, find Katherine on Wiser or contact her directly by email at katherine[at]wiserearth.org.
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