by: Stephanie Pichan
What is something that makes you feel fulfilled? Do you feel happier, even healthier, when you are able to participate in experiences or activities that give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment? A recent study conducted by UnitedHealth Group  found that 96% of participants say that volunteering enriches their sense of purpose in life. For more benefits of volunteering check out Volunteering: Well-Being for Everyone. So how does this translate into the workplace? Volunteering leads to healthier employees and healthier, happier employees tend to be high performers and great team players, ultimately contributing to business goals . The UnitedHealth study previously mentioned also found that volunteering builds time management skills, people and teamwork skills, stronger relationships with colleagues, and professional job skills. In addition :
- 64% of employees who currently volunteer said that volunteering with work colleagues strengthened their relationships.
- 78% of people who volunteer say it lowers their stress levels.
- 64% of employees say opportunities to support causes or issues they care about is as important as wellness program or tuition reimbursement.
- 90% of HR executives agree that contributing business skills and expertise to a non-profit can be an effective way to develop leadership skills.
- 88% of Millennials feel their job is more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact on social or environmental issues
“Trust impacts the bottom line, and corporate and social responsibility is its driver.” 
Employers have a unique opportunity to benefit the health of their employees and the strength of the organization while making a positive impact in the community. This can be done by offering resources and programs that support employee volunteering. Showing employees that their overall well-being matters and that the organization is also invested in the well-being of the whole community helps to build trust all around. According to the 2016 PwC Global CEO Survey, 64% say that corporate social responsibility is core to their business and builds trust with employees and customers.
Tips to begin encouraging and promoting employee volunteering?
- Offer PTO volunteer activities (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.).
- Encourage volunteering outside of work through the company wellness program. (Employees are more likely to engage with wellness programs that empower them to give back in a meaningful way).
- Offer flexible scheduling arrangements so that your employees can find time to volunteer.
- Organize a company-wide volunteer day or community activity.
- Organize volunteer activities for groups of employees.
- Post local volunteer opportunities in employee communications.
- Recognize employees for volunteering activities.
- Partner with YourMatch, an employee engagement platform through volunteermatch.org. The platform provides volunteer management, reporting, access to a large network of nonprofits, client support, and more.
- If volunteering is not a viable option, there are other ways to encourage employees to give back, such as organizing a company fundraising event or food drive for a local organization.
- Edelheit, Jonathan. (2016, September). The Future of Corporate Wellness Lies in Charity. Employee Well-Being, p 6.
LOCAL.FRIENDLY.INSURANCE www.WhitakerLaChance.com (269) 324-7700
About the author:
Stephanie Pichan joined Whitaker-LaChance in 2016 as the Health and Wellness Coordinator and is a licensed health and life insurance agent. As a graduate of the Bachelor of Science Community Health Education program at Western Michigan University, Stephanie worked as a professional in the wellness field for over 10 years prior to coming to the agency. She brings with her experience in public health, health technology, behavior change, nutrition, and holistic health practices and therapies. Whether through work, church, volunteering, or every day connections, she’s passionate about helping others live their best life possible.