Many companies have employee volunteer programs, but for many companies in Europe, Canada and the US these programs are underfunded, underdeveloped and underutilized. This blog series is meant to offer a number of compelling reasons why your business needs to invest (a bit more) in employee volunteering.
1. Employee Engagement: The direct connection to business success
The evidence supporting the importance of employee engagement is incontrovertible. Beyond the reports and analysis, even common sense will tell you that an engaged workforce is important to a company’s well-being and profitability.
But let’s start with the bad news – According to a recent Scarlett Survey, on average, it’s safe to assume that at least 31% of your employees are disengaged. Worse yet, 4% of those who are disengaged are probably hostile. That means that they are speaking poorly of your company to all their friends and family and most likely stealing office supplies. (Seriously.)
On the other hand, according to Gallup, companies with high levels of employee engagement enjoy a significant uplift of every business performance number. Gallup performed a meta-analysis across 199 studies covering 152 organizations, 44 industries, and 26 countries. They discovered that for companies where employees were more engaged than not, their profitability jumped by 16%. Not only that, general productivity was 18% higher than other companies. Customer loyalty was 12% higher and quality jumped up by an incredible 60%. (Harvard Business Review)
2. But, what’s the connection between employee engagement and volunteering?
First, it’s important to establish that there is, in fact, a connection. In Ireland, a recent study found that 87% of employees who volunteered with their companies reported an improved perception of their employer. More importantly, a whopping 82% felt more committed to the organization they worked for.
In another study conducted by VolunteerMatch and UnitedHealthcare entitled “Do Good Live Well Study Reviewing the Benefits of Volunteering”, researchers found that employees who volunteer through their workplace report more positive attitudes towards their employer as well as colleagues. An interesting benefit to employers is the improved physical and emotional health of employees who volunteer. That means that if companies want to decrease their health costs, they should be looking to volunteering as an affordable and accessible solution.