The Emergence of Skill Based Volunteering and Employee Engagement Benefits

Posted by on December 8, 2016 in CSR, Entrepreneurship

By Omid Ghiam

Common Idea of Skill Based Volunteering
It’s no question that strategic corporate engagement in philanthropic causes can greatly help the community on a deep level. It’s important to engage your employees and coworkers with nonprofits that are interesting to them. Sometimes it can be difficult pairing up the perfect events for your company. It’s hard to tell if your employees are really applying their knowledge to specific nonprofit events. All you can do is hope that all your corporate social responsibilities will fall into place. But sometimes instead of hoping, you have to discover the answer on your own. This is where skill based volunteering comes to play.

What is Skill Based Volunteering?
Skill based volunteering is often a topic not too many corporations fully grasp. Although it may sound like it explains itself, you’d be surprised at how many people have a common misconception on the topic. According to the dictionary definition, skill based volunteering is when an individual uses his or her skills, talents, resources, abilities and networks to accomplish a volunteering obligation. Skill based volunteering can not only make a volunteer feel more connected with a nonprofit, but it can actually benefit the nonprofit as well. Nonprofits can be strengthened through skill based volunteering. This allows them to effectively achieve their nonprofit goals.

Why Skill Based Volunteering is Important
In general, any type of corporate volunteering can benefit a company in some way. But it’s important to make the most of every situation. In order to do this, you must engage in skill based volunteering. In today’s day and age large paychecks are being replaced with giving back to important causes. But being able to efficiently connect nonprofits with skill based volunteering can be difficult. Almost 75% of Americans don’t volunteer at all. Introducing skill based volunteering to first timers can allow for corporations to get their employees more involved with the community around them. According to the Taproot Foundation, approximately only 3% of nonprofits have proper access to the services they require. This means that although there are perfect matching events for skill-based volunteers, bringing the two together is where it gets all lost. Skill based volunteering also allows for benefits in employee engagement.

The Benefits of Employee Engagement can change your business now
The profit driven world we live in today can overshadow the value a company should show to its employees. The benefits of employee engagement have never been more important. Executives and employees alike must care about the enhanced effect employee involvement can have on all aspects of the business. The modern company thrives by satisfying its employees correspondingly creating a healthy, more sustainable environment. The implications detailed below could take your business to the next level.

1. Employee Satisfaction
Keeping employees happy to come into work every day is an unspoken rule for a successful business. Companies have several ways to keep their employees engaged.

  1. Competitive benefits and compensation plans
  2. Positive leadership and management morale
  3. Engagement programs (i.e. employee volunteering/giving, team outings, family events)

A comprehensive plan that addresses these factors will surely increase the satisfaction of your company’s employees.

 2. Employee Retention
Engaged employees are happy employees, they tend to stay at companies longer and produce deliverables at higher rates. Keeping them involved and interested in as many ways as possible will lead to higher rates of retention. With the average employee tenures at companies ranging from 2-4 years nowadays, keeping top talent engaged should be a top priority. The recurrent onboarding and training costs of new employees eats up budgets and reduces overall productivity. The engagement programs of a company, along with the benefits and management morale have a significant impact in retaining the most valuable asset to a business, its employees.

3. Increased Productivity
The fact that “lost productivity of actively disengaged employees costs the U.S. economy $370 billion annually” (Gallup 2010) should speak volumes about engagement’s influence on the bottom line. Employees who are satisfied with their job and continue to grow within the company reduce the turnover from new employee onboarding and its productivity pains. These pleased employees actively partake in initiatives that benefit the company and begin to associate themselves around the central mission. The overarching passion for the company and the job enables employees to pour their enthusiastic efforts into their work, thus increasing efficiency of time spent at the workplace. This productivity is mutually beneficial for the company since it correlates strongly with a rise in revenue.

Omid Ghiam is a passionate Marketer/Blogger/Entrepreneur at Involve in Santa Monica, California. He is also an engineering student at California State University, Long Beach.

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