Last week we highlighted JIFF. This week let us explore ways that a company can encourage employees to get more engaged in the community.
We have discussed it before, but corporate philanthropy is now focused on engagement and creating support systems for employees to better plug into the community, in order to lend their time, talents, and leadership. This trend has made national headlines with a consumer focus, stating that customers now expect corporations to be directly involved with their communities. This means community engagement has become a component of corporate sustainability.
For business leaders, the idea is to create win-win-win scenarios for their company, employees, and community. To create win-win-win scenarios, leaders must provide their workforce with encouragement, freedom, and support to make a “hands on” impact.
In an era where employees are working long hours and facing time poverty, here are three ways companies can incentivize their teams.
Allow employees to modify their work schedule. Since many volunteer opportunities can fit within a workday, like tutoring youth after school from 3:30-5 p.m., allowing employees to adjust their schedule provides an encouraging solution. Companies may allow employees to shift their day forward, so no time is lost, or make up the difference on another day. Companies could also provide a certain amount of time per month that may be allotted to corporate endorsed volunteer days.
Tie employee engagement to corporate sponsorship. Encourage employees to take leadership roles with nonprofits organizations, like serving on boards. The company will then sponsor those nonprofit events in which the employee is participating. The employee strengthens their leadership skills, the nonprofit receives support, and the company receives marketing and community goodwill.
Tie corporate donations to volunteer hours. There are many variations, but a basic example is if an employee donates 20 personal hours of service, the company will match the effort with a $500 donation on their behalf. A company may also donate $100 per person who works on a given Saturday with a nonprofit group. The money would be donated on behalf of the workers and would once again be a win.