Beginning to give
The benefits of starting an employee volunteering program (EVP) at your company are numerous. For example, employees who volunteer are some of the most engaged employees to be found. The 2008/2009 study, Driving Business Results Through Continuous Engagement by WorkUSA states that companies with engaged employees experience 26 percent higher revenue per employee, 13 percent total higher total returns to shareholders, and a 50 percent higher market premium.
Various companies report a myriad of additional benefits such as improved community perception and marketing potential, lower staff turnover, positive effect on productivity, and skill training for employees. It's because of benefits like these that employee volunteer programs are becoming increasingly popular at corporations across the globe. But where do you begin when you want to start a program from scratch? Here are a couple things to consider when you're getting ready to start an EVP:
Begin with the end in mind.
Determine the benefits. What’s in it for you? Do a little research and check out the variations of EVP programs. From local to international, weekly to yearly, cause-related or skills-based, your options are nearly endless. Have fun opening your mind to the possibilities. The more you learn, the clearer the potential benefits will become.
List the outcomes. What will Corporate Volunteering achieve for the company, your colleagues, and the community? Again, there are multiple benefits to Employee Volunteer Programs. Will you leverage opportunities to enhance training and skill set development? Will you augment your marketing campaign with free publicity, generated by events? Are you going to integrate the program with your leadership development initiative? As you consider the outcomes, you might want to gather a team to help you brainstorm.
Finally, determine your cost-to-benefit ratio. How much do you want to spend for the outcomes you are shooting for, based on the model you have chosen? This is tricky because there are not yet many metrics out there to tie your costs to the bottom line ROI. There is progress however, with groups such as London Benchmarking Group (LBG) to standardize the process and measurements of both contributions and outcomes.