A corporate volunteer program is a great way to engage employees while also impacting local and global communities. And, it could help organizations in more ways than one. Employee volunteer programs promote camaraderie, help build a strong corporate brand and give employees an opportunity to support causes they believe in. Additionally, 93% of employees who volunteer through their company report being happy with their employer and 54% of those who are proud of their company’s contributions to society are more engaged at work, according to research by the Macquarie Graduate School of Management.
While these programs are almost a win/win, you may want to consider instituting a formal volunteer policy so that all teams are aligned on the rules and expectations. Get started right away with our free sample policy template.
Why should organizations have a Corporate Volunteer Program policy?
Some corporate volunteer programs rely on one major event per year, or encourage employees to rally around and donate to one cause. There’s certainly nothing wrong with this method, but it can be an unnecessary limit on employees’ creativity. There are so many ways to get involved locally and globally—and, as we’ve learned in the past year, even virtually!
Employees love to have options. The purpose of creating a corporate volunteer program policy is to encourage employees to volunteer for causes that they’d like to personally support in a way that they so choose (using time off during the day or otherwise). What’s also great about a policy like this is that it can be paired with other large company initiatives.
Pros and Cons of a Corporate Volunteer Program
While it seems like a corporate volunteer program could do no wrong, like any program there are pros and cons. Having a program helps with purpose-driven engagement, promotes teamwork and is great publicity for your company, but it will need to be managed, tracked and measured by someone. There are also a few potential issues to watch out for, which a thorough policy could help avoid.
To avoid being connected to organizations that do not align with your company’s values, you may want to consider offering employees a list of approved charities or nonprofit organizations; or, create an approval process. To ensure key employees aren’t out of the office when you need them most, you may also want to consider making a note about who is eligible and when volunteering is allowed. For instance, if you have a busy season when it doesn’t make sense to have team members out of work, it may be a good idea to outline this in your policy.
What are some best practices for Corporate Volunteer Programs?
As you work to create a corporate volunteer program, be sure to incorporate your company values and get leadership buy-in. Make sure objectives are aligned: your employees will be more likely to participate when the initiative is also important to others.
Establish goals up front. Is there a certain number of hours that you’d like to have per year? Are there a certain number of participants you’d like to engage? Working backwards from what the team would like to accomplish can be very motivating.
Lastly, create a way to measure output or impact. Here are a few metrics other teams have used:
- Number of employees who volunteer
- Amount of time donated to each activity
- Number of organizations served
- Number of individuals served
Think about how rewarding it feels to volunteer. When that output is measured and then can be increased in future years, the celebration will be that much sweeter.
What should be included in the Corporate Volunteer Program policy?
Creating a policy for a Corporate Volunteer Program doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few items that should be included.
- Company volunteer philosophy (your why)
- Expectations of volunteers
- Which organizations are eligible
- Which employees are eligible (salaried workers, hourly workers)
- Registration, selection and approval process
- VTO (volunteer time off) maximums per month or year
To make it even easier for you, Paycor is providing a free Corporate Volunteer Program policy template. Scroll to the top and fill out the form for your copy. Once downloaded, the text can be customized to meet the needs of your organization.