Volunteer Programs: 8 Must-Have Guidelines to Improve Employee Engagement

Employers that factor philanthropy into the equation are more successful at recruiting, motivating and retaining employees—especially younger workers and women.

Corporate giving wins more than just consumer support and sales; it also increases your ability to recruit and retain top talent. This is especially true with younger workers and women. In fact, research from a Volunteer IMPACT Survey published by Deloitte shows that 78 percent of employees would rather work for an ethical and reputable company than receive a higher salary.

Additionally, the University of Texas at Austin and the Points of Light Foundation found that volunteer programs can contribute to employee skill development, improve leadership skills, foster teamwork and add to job satisfaction. Fifty-eight percent use their employee volunteer program for recruiting and retaining employees, and 97 percent of employee-volunteer managers thought employee volunteering provided a way to improve employee teamwork.

For example, Prudential, No. 9 in the 2012 DiversityInc Top 50 and DiversityInc's Top Company for Community Development in 2011, held a "Breaking the Gala Addiction" competition and asked nonprofits to submit business plans to create revenue-generating ventures that will raise money and reduce their reliance on expensive gala events, grants and donations. The Community Food Bank's "Grains for Good" project won first place, which included a $75,000 grant from Prudential and three months of project-management assistance from a team of Prudential volunteers.

"They brought in their own marketing people from Prudential who worked with us redesigning the packaging, the bags that these bagel crisps are going to come in, and provided us with a brand new design and even a big poster on an easel we could display at a big event we had a few weeks ago," says Richard J. Uniacke, director of market development at Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

Additional company success stories in the article are included from PricewaterhouseCoopers (No. 1) and Time Warner (No. 40).

However, before you start giving your employees time off to volunteer, you'll want to set some guidelines to establish and support their efforts. In this 2,000-word Employee Volunteer Programs article, DiversityInc provides the eight best practices that companies need for a successful employee-volunteer program. Among the top three: firm commitment and communication; recognizing the activity as a valid use of time; and encouraging senior managers to lead by example and volunteer themselves.

Additional best practices detailed in the article include:

  • Offering skilled volunteerism as an option for employees
  • Helping employees find the right volunteer opportunity
  • Providing training
  • Giving recognition
  • Tapping into experienced employees and retirees

Read the full Employee Volunteer Programs article at BestPractices.DiversityInc.com.

Lisa Garcia Quiroz, Time Warner's First Chief Diversity Officer, Creator of People en Español, Dies at 56

Quiroz was an advocate of diversity and inclusion, education and the arts.

A Latina trailblazer, Lisa Garcia Quiroz, senior vice president and chief diversity officer at Time Warner Inc., and president of the Time Warner Foundation, died Friday at age 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. An advocate of diversity and inclusion, education and the arts, Quiroz created a dynamic legacy.

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