The world is changing in many ways, and one of them is that people are increasingly making time to volunteer for causes they care about. But since volunteer work is rarely if ever paid, many people find themselves volunteering less than they would like to.
But there is a way around that for employers who are willing to facilitate this type of work. A new trend that is slowly catching on is volunteer time off. This is when employers are willing to give their employees a certain number of paid hours off, so employees can spend that time volunteering in their community instead. Employers that do so will grant each employee from 8 hours per year to 40 hours per year.
There are a few reasons why this is a good thing that employers can do for their employees. It helps employees build skills they can use in the workplace, including leadership and public speaking skills, as well as adaptability and the ability to successfully collaborate with others. It can also help teach employees empathy, something that is becoming increasingly important to display in the workplace.
Volunteering has become especially important to Millenials. In fact, 60% of all Millenials choose the company they work for based at least partly on the charity work the company supports. This makes these employees feel like they are valued and are making a difference in their job.
One example of a company that has successfully implemented volunteer time off is one called Gliffy. The company regularly holds events where their employees can volunteer to spend the day working for a specified non-profit organization. Another is Atlassian, which runs a foundation that is made up entirely of the company’s employees. At this company, almost every employee uses his or her allotted volunteer time off each year.
Any company can embrace the idea of supporting volunteer work and encouraging their employees to do the same. The most common ways to do this include charitable giving, matching donations, using payroll deductions to make donations, and offering dedicated volunteering days that everyone is encouraged to participate in.
Whether a company embraces one or several of these ideas, it is easy to add social awareness and volunteer work to a company’s culture and philosophy.