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What is Volunteerism and Why You Should Know if You’re Running a Business

Getting your team of employees to do some volunteering under your business has quite a few advantages. First, you get employees to engage and find passion for the work they do through you. Also, it enhances your brand to serve your community. Additionally, you’re doing a great thing here and improving people’s lives.

Businesses make it their mission to do more for their community; this is especially true since Covid-19 hit. Your staff may be at home right now, maybe even working from home. We’ve seen how this is breeding loneliness. Why not help them connect with others, socially, responsibly, and helping others.

Right now, businesses are going through corporate social responsibility programs to find how they can help others. There is a lot of need out there for help, and you can make a difference. While I’m sure it’s enough to know you and your team made a difference, it is something that every business must do now. Socially conscious consumers are watching out for this.

Here’s how you can help, especially during this Covid-19 time we’re in. Let’s face it, the economy is going to feel this, and more people are going to need help in first world countries than they have for a long time. Here’s what you can do:

Empower Your Employees

You’re the leader and it’s up to you to keep your team engaged. You do this by making those volunteer opportunities available. You give them the time to volunteer, even if it’s during business hours. Many non-profit organizations are calling out for help right now. This is an important statistic too; 81% of volunteers will give their time and energy to charity because they want to make a difference. It also helps them to be social with other like-minded people.

Think about your company mission and what impact you want to make to serve your community. This is going to define what volunteer activities you want to commit to and the areas where people need it most. You can talk to some of the organizations who are looking for volunteers and see what their process is. This allows you to also consider how often and how many volunteers you can give. Once you’ve planned this out, you will just need to support your employee’s volunteer venture.

Make it Easy for Employees to Volunteer

You want to make it easy and diverse for your employees to volunteer their time to a cause. This includes addressing your team’s comfort levels and availability. Something important to consider in this Covid-19 time is that if you do a volunteer event, it needs to adhere to CDC guidelines. You may have to think about Covid-19 testing, screening, and ID verification to keep people safe in an environment where they’re all together.

You can also offer volunteer opportunities from home that employees can do during their own time. This is sort of the future as we know it. Writing notes to those in isolation, acknowledging people by phone or email, or making masks for people. You can get them in touch with organizations that bring food to the elderly or those in need of essential supplies/emotional support. This type of virtual volunteering is really important right now.

Make sure it’s fun

Consider fun ways to get your team volunteering. This is all about offering your staff a social aspect to their life. So many of us are working from home now, so this can be a way to bring fun into someone’s life again. We all want to feel a connection to each other while making sure we respect one another enough to stay far enough away. So if you can make the volunteering fun, you’re letting your team connect to each other and to people in need. You’re also giving them a fulfilling experience that is really necessary right now.

Schedule a Zoom call so everyone can get together. Even if you’re doing things separately, connecting on Zoom is something everyone will look forward to. Drive-by appreciation and check-ins are a great way to help. They can also do meal deliveries. This lifts the giver’s spirits and the person receiving the message/food. This can be done in a safe way. It’s to the point where people just want to see other’s faces. You can gather your team together outside with chairs 6 feet apart and just hang out. This means a lot during these times.

In the end, you’re going to want to ensure that you connected your staff to a cause that mattered to them. That you allowed them to give and also have the chance to be social during this somewhat lonely time throughout the world. Non-profit organizations and your business should work together to keep the volunteers engaged. Make sure to put effort into this and maintain communication between everyone. You can use social media to connect as a group or discuss issues one on one.

You can share pictures with your employees helping. It’s important to give people accolades for the selfless work they’re doing. Say thanks often and give them gifts if this is available to you. What volunteers really desire is to feel connected and to know that they made a difference. You could consider creating a page on your company website that showcases the special people in your organization who volunteered. You can showcase individuals and post it on this page. Then you’re creating a culture that people notice and employees in the future will want to be part of.

When you nurture volunteerism, you also benefit. Your employees are going to be more engaged in the workplace. You are giving them an outlet to socialize and do something meaningful. They will feel accomplished and experience personal growth. They will thank you for it. It’s critical to find innovative ways to help during Covid-19. Your employees need it, the world needs it, and your company needs to be in alignment with this essential part of running a business right now. As a brand, it makes your company look good, and if you’re not doing it, it would be quite noticeable at this time.

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Loraine Couturier
Staff writer: Loraine Couturier is a jet set writing chick from Canada that travels around the globe. Her writing and marketing skills are what keeps her eating exotic meals and jumping on planes. Loraine loves writing about pretty much anything and likes to pass on the knowledge she has to others. Visit her at lorainecouturier.com

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Staff writer: Loraine Couturier is a jet set writing chick from Canada that travels around the globe. Her writing and marketing skills are what keeps her eating exotic meals and jumping on planes. Loraine loves writing about pretty much anything and likes to pass on the knowledge she has to others. Visit her at lorainecouturier.com

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