Forget the Ping Pong tables and the snack bars. Yes, your staff enjoys benefits and perks associated with their jobs, but what they really want is a purpose and an organization that’s investing in social good. According to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report by Achieve Consulting, more than half of surveyed millennials said their company’s charitable work influenced their decision to accept a job offer. In fact, the individuals polled for that report ranked a company’s volunteerism program third in importance behind the primary purpose and its workplace culture. Think about that for a moment. While that survey took a look at a specific age group, it’s a safe bet that such efforts transcend a single generation. Whether you’re a small business owner or a leader in a large corporation, service opportunities need to be on your radar.
Give Them Time
You give your staff vacation time. You also give them personal time and/or sick days. What about volunteer time off (VTO)? According to the 2018 Employee Benefits Report by the Society of HR Management, 1 in 4 employers in the US offer such a benefit. On average, companies offering this paid-time off grant between 8 and 40 hours per year, although some organizations offer more.
Salesforce, for example, offers their employees up to 7 days a year (56 hours) for volunteering. According to the company’s benefits page, “The top 100 eligible volunteers will be rewarded with a $10,000 grant to the nonprofit organization of their choice. In addition, employees who complete and log 7 days of VTO within a fiscal year are considered “Volunteer Rockstars” and are entered into a drawing to receive a $500 Volunteer Rockstar Grant!”
Even small businesses can take a page from this sort of policy. You may not have the budget to donate a million dollars in grants, but you can support your team’s efforts by making it easier for them to give their time to a cause.
The Team That Serves Together
What do Merck, Deloitte, and Starbucks have in common? These corporate giants all dedicate at least one day a year for corporate-wide service. Employees roll up their sleeves and work together in teams to serve their communities. They may be reading to students in their community schools. They might be cleaning a park or assisting on a Habit for Humanity building project. These…