If you are a workplace leader who supports a volunteer program at your business, you already know that by encouraging employees to give back to your community you are:
- building teamwork
- motivating employees
- attracting new hires
In fact, job seekers much prefer companies that have a strong volunteer program. And, a growing number of businesses are rewarding employees who volunteer by giving them extra vacation time and other incentives.
Fortunately, throughout the U.S. there are hundreds of volunteer opportunities where employees can contribute individually, or where leaders can organize teams of employees to volunteer together on a routine and scheduled basis.
To find organizations in need of volunteers, go to Volunteer Match and type in your zip code. You’ll be presented a list of nearby volunteer opportunities. Also, you can find opportunities on iPartcipate.
And, if you are a leader in the workforce, take note of the 2010 research that VolunteerMatch.org and United Healthcare recently completed.
They found compelling evidence that volunteering not only enhances volunteers’ physical and mental health, but also strengthens relationships between employers and employees.
So, encourage employees to volunteer. Organize groups of employees to volunteer after work or on the weekends. Consider rewarding employees with incentives or extra vacation time in exchange for their volunteer hours.
Some highlights of the findings from the VolunteerMatch.org and United Healthcare research show that:
- 68% of those who volunteer in the past year report that volunteering made them feel physically healthier.
- 29% of volunteers who suffer from a chronic condition say that volunteering has helped them manage their chronic illness.
- 89% of volunteers agree that volunteering improved their sense of well-being.
- 73% of volunteers feel that volunteering lowered their stress levels.
- 92% of volunteers agree that volunteering enriches their sense of purpose in life.