As it’s national volunteering week, we wanted to focus on how giving back benefits your physical and mental health. Businesses have a social responsibility to give back to their people and their local community, whether that’s releasing your staff for a volunteering day or raising money for a charity – it all makes a difference and contributes to your wellbeing strategy.
Employees are looking for more rewarding and meaningful working incentives that encompass more than the traditional discounted gym membership or cycle to work scheme. According to a report conducted by City Philanthropy, generation Z and millennials (most of the workforce) say that they want to spend more time volunteering then they currently do. If employers include this as part of their benefits package then they will improve retention, talent acquisition and employee engagement.
Companies offering paid time-off for volunteering found that they increased their brand awareness, attracted and retained top talent, boosted productivity, improved employee engagement and employees felt like they had a sense of purpose.
In the digital age, employees are 'loud and proud', meaning they’re more likely to share their good deeds on social media, mentioning their workplace, which increases brand reputation; why not create positive opportunities for your people to be your cheerleaders? Volunteering and fundraising also meant that teams felt more connected as they all had a common goal and employees could learn new skills.
Organising a volunteering projects is also a great opportunity to delegate a task to a junior member of staff and let them showcase their leadership skills in managing a project from start to finish. You may uncover some natural-born leaders, which you could fast track onto leadership courses to develop their skill sets.
There are a huge number of benefits to having a wellbeing programme in place for volunteering and donating for charities. Research from Bupa has shown a link between volunteering and positive mental health, so including opportunities to give back to the community is a great way to support employee wellbeing as well as being socially responsible as a business.
If you’re interested in learning more about wellbeing in the workplace, click here.