In many ways, volunteering is one of the most selfless things a person can do. Helping others without receiving anything in return is truly a feat. And as a leader, you may want to not just volunteer yourself, but encourage your employees to do the same.
Perhaps your company already has a program or partnership in place with local volunteer organizations or maybe you simply want to encourage your employees to get involved in their community outside of work. Either way, this process can often feel more difficult than it needs to be. Fortunately, by learning the many ways you can get your employees more involved in your volunteer programs or in local volunteer opportunities, you can build a workplace that is dedicated to the community and passionate about helping others in various facets.
How to Get Your Employees More Involved in Your Volunteering
Getting your employees involved in volunteering may sound hard, but it is actually one of the easiest things you can do. All it takes is a bit of motivation, incentive, and structure to transform your team into a volunteer-oriented community asset. By using the strategies below, you can get your team on the right path and build a volunteer-oriented business structure accordingly.
Analyze Your Current Program
Although you may not have a current program in place, it is important to analyze the ways you’ve been encouraging volunteering thus far. For instance, what schedule have you been promoting for volunteer programs? What type of volunteering opportunities have you been specifically mentioning to your staff? How often and consistently have you been advocating volunteer work? Have you been using incentives to encourage this volunteer work at all?
Start by asking these main questions first, as they will allow you to easily find ways to improve over time. For instance, if you have only been promoting volunteer opportunities that occur on the weekends, you may want to ask your team if these days are not open on their schedules. If they are not, try promoting local volunteer opportunities that are only on the days that work best for them and see the results.
Similarly, analyze the types of volunteer opportunities you’ve been advocating and ask if these opportunities actually interest your staff or not. Perhaps you’ve been promoting park cleanup efforts to a group of staff that prefer volunteering at homeless shelters or food banks. By determining what causes your staff are passionate about, you can promote causes that matter to them and see real results from it. You can also analyze how frequently you promote these causes and try to increase the frequency and consistency for more responses as well.
Lastly, although volunteering alone is a great reward, sometimes, it takes a bit of incentive for a team to start volunteering locally. As an eco-conscious office manager, choosing to grant promotions to people based on community and company involvement (as well as performance, obviously) is a great way to promote volunteerism. It has the added bonus of increasing productivity in the office space. You can also offer to give your team other rewards, such as a free lunch, movie tickets, or gift cards to local restaurants. Although these are minor expenses for the business, it will bring your team together and encourage them to choose to volunteer in the community.
Promote Local Volunteering in the Office
Now that your structure is set in place, promotion is key. Simply telling your staff about the program is hardly enough to get them to volunteer frequently. Instead, work with other team members to get the word out and get team members involved.
For instance, sending out a company email or having a meeting about the program are great ways to get people involved and excited for the cause. You can also promote your efforts on your company’s social media accounts and encourage your employees to include their friends and family, as well.
Try telling your staff that studies show volunteering makes people happier, and inform them of the positive emotional effects of volunteering. This, along with the incentives and the inclusion of friends and family, is sure to increase your volunteer-oriented teambase significantly.
Have Local Volunteer Organizations Speak to Your Staff
Who better to encourage your team to volunteer with a particular program than the program itself? In many cases, nonprofit and local organizations will be more than happy to come speak to your staff about particular volunteer opportunities they have lined up now and in the future.
Typically, these speaking events take roughly an hour and include information about the program, the ways that your team can volunteer, and the positive effects these actions have on the community and, depending on the organization, the world.
Although some more established organizations have information about speaking opportunities already in place for companies to review, some of the smaller local organizations may require a call or email to accept the invitation to speak.
Either way, having someone talk to your staff can motivate them to get involved and encourage them to help out as a member of your team and as a member of the community.
Implement Volunteering Ideals Into the Future Hiring Process
Lastly, as your company and your staff grows, implementing volunteer structures and ideals into the future hiring process will become essential.
Start by creating a brand image that heavily promotes volunteer work and use this image as a guide for the hiring process. You can do this by showing images of your current staff volunteering, putting money towards local nonprofits and causes, or even by learning how to run a sustainable office environment.
Incorporate this image into your website, guidelines, and hiring ads. This is a great way to find local talent that is not only good at their jobs but also invested in their community and volunteering by large.
You can also incorporate volunteer encouragement by choosing to have booths at volunteering events and offering positions and interviews to those involved. This is a great way to get a volunteer-oriented staff right from the source.
In the end, local volunteering is the key to a better image, a more accomplished version of your staff, and a feeling of pride in yourself, your business, and your team. By including these tactics in your current business strategy, you are sure to get clear results that translate to actual community involvement and volunteer success. After all, you might not be able to change the world, but can surely make a dent.