Employees Gain Satisfaction from Volunteer Work

People who worry that their lives are becoming “all about work” often find deep satisfaction in giving their energies and time to worthy causes outside the workplace. Companies can really benefit from finding ways to encourage and facilitate these efforts.

Staffing firm Robert Half conducted a survey recently, and found that more than four in 10 (41%) of U.S. professionals volunteer outside of work.

According to half, “Respondents said their philanthropic activities help them improve their sense of well-being and effectiveness at the office (61%), expand their network (57%), develop new skills (49 percent), and enhance their company’s visibility (35%).”

All of these benefits factor into overall employee satisfaction – and companies that encourage and facilitate these volunteer efforts benefit from the association their employees make between the enriching experience of volunteering and the employers who help make it possible.

In other words, helping employees to volunteer outside the workplace can actually increase their level of satisfaction with the job. This is a great way for companies to retain their best people at little or no cost to themselves.

For employees looking for volunteering opportunities, Half offers these tips:

  • Find an organization in need. Search for organizations you care about in your community, and then contact them to see how they could use your help. Be sure to explain your particular skills and interests.
  • Check with your employer. Many companies have ties to nonprofit organizations or facilitate charitable activities. Other companies offer volunteer matching or grant programs for those employees who give their time.
  • Invite your colleagues to join you. One person can make a big impact, but there could be power in numbers if your coworkers come, too.
  • Look beyond the holidays. There are community service opportunities available throughout the year, such as park cleanups and exercising for a good cause.

For employers, look at the tips listed above, and think of ways that you can help to facilitate this process. Look for ways to partner with organizations that are doing good work in the community, and organize things at your end by helping your employees to take part.

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