Socially responsible businesses are setting the bar high for startups. Nowadays, you can’t earn an amazing reputation without giving back to the community. Hence, today’s way to the market’s hearts is to be an ethical and socially responsible company. Going the sustainable route is a common way to do that. Many businesses, big and small, use biodegradable packaging to minimize plastic waste, for instance. But aside from that, you can also help change people’s lives. If your business can send more children to school or end violence against women, why stop at sustainability?
The problem is, you need volunteer activities to change lives. This poses an issue because volunteerism cannot be imposed. If your employees refuse to make donations, you can only help as an organization. But if you’re trying to hit a target, your employees’ participation as individuals is crucial. Getting them to volunteer once isn’t enough. They need to make it a continuous activity.
That said, here are the ways to keep the spirit of volunteerism alive in your company:
1. Make it Part of Your Training Program
You can learn invaluable skills from volunteering. So include charitable activities in your corporate training program. Though you’ll learn only soft skills, soft skills are what would drive your team to long-term success anyway. You can learn technical skills through experience, but soft skills are something you tend to pick up during significant events, like a volunteer activity.
Here are the top soft skills you can develop from volunteering:
Volunteering teaches leadership because it gets you out of your comfort zone and exposes you to people outside your bubble. This teaches you communication skills that you can use in your career. You’ll learn how to interact with people who wait for your direction. For your employees, this skill will help them when it’s their time to lead a team.
Since employees are free to decide when to volunteer, the activity can improve their time management skills. Also, volunteer activities are typically time-bound. This helps you and your organization set up timelines efficiently. You will learn how to sort out your priorities and figure out how to hit targets without compromising your actual tasks.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Volunteer activities are more challenging than they look. Their time limits can pressure your organization to hit targets as fast as possible, potentially affecting your time efficiency and productivity. But this challenge teaches you critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You’ll find solutions to time constraints that won’t sacrifice your company’s performance.
2. Form Partnerships
Find a local or national organization to collaborate with. It will help strengthen your cause and promote your advocacy. Your partner organization should have goals that align with your cause, too. For example, if you want to make education accessible for all, you can partner with Plan International or Save the Children. Advocacies like veganism or animal rights are noteworthy, too. PETA or World Animal Protection could be your perfect partner.
Forming partnerships establishes a sense of community within your organization. Your employees can feel united with your partner organization, motivating them to dedicate as much of their time as they can. This makes your company more passionate about donating.
3. Use a Volunteering Platform
Monitor your volunteer activities through advanced CSR volunteer management software. This allows you to track your team’s volunteer hours, the funds you’ve raised, and the other outcomes of your projects. If you’re trying to hit 200 hours of volunteering, the software will show how close you get to that goal with every hour rendered. It also shows the details of your projects, which can be useful when stakeholders and customers want to be involved.
When employees see the progress of their actions, they become more inspired to keep going. It can stir their competitive spirit. For example, if you make the project a contest between departments, your employees will surely be eager to make their department win. They’ll maximize their volunteer hours as a result.
4. Allow Employees to Donate to the Charity of Their Choice
Instead of letting the top management decide everything, let the rest of the organization take control of their volunteer activities. Limiting control to the top management makes it seem like you’re imposing rules. Only give to this organization, or your volunteer hours won’t be counted. Throw away such rules and let employees give to their preferred organization. It will let you know what they value and advocate for.
These techniques will make volunteering second nature to your organization. As such, you can hit your targets in no time and change more lives than you thought you could.