4 Steps to Planning Your Employee Volunteer Celebration This April

How are you celebrating your employee volunteers?

April is National Volunteer Month and next week, April 7-13, is National Volunteer Week. According to a survey by Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA) and Forbes Magazine, 85% of respondents said that employee volunteer programs are part of their company’s corporate responsibility efforts.1 So the big question is, how are you celebrating your employee volunteers?

Gone are the days where some companies offered volunteering opportunities for a handful of do-gooders. Today Workplace Giving and Employee Volunteer Programs (EVPs) are integral parts of a successful business plan. Proven to boost engagement, retention, productivity and morale, volunteering and giving programs have grown exponentially and in return have been the source of tangible, positive change in communities around the globe.

It’s only right that your employee volunteers be recognized and celebrated this month. Recognition by top executives and the corporation as a whole shows that volunteerism is a truly valued component of your corporate culture. And, creating a bit of a hoopla around your volunteers this month may just spur more to jump on board.

Your employee volunteers are passionate, generous, and an undeniable asset to your organization – they deserve more than free donuts in the cafeteria! Take the time to plan either one fabulous event or a series of celebrations that shows just how highly they and the good work they do, are valued corporate-wide. Here are some things to consider while planning:

1) Measure Most employees volunteer because it feels good but do they really know the impact they have collectively made? Impact can be difficult to measure but is necessary to understanding the program as a whole. Compile number of employee volunteers, charities served, projects completed, and volunteer hours. Chances are your program has grown since last year so outline that growth, celebrate it and get pumped for an even greater year of service in 2019.

2) Recognize & Celebrate Every single employee volunteer deserves recognition. They should be thanked individually and as a group for making your company AND the community a better place. Consider plaques, parties, comp time, swag and more in recognition of their service and dedicate the entire month to the celebration. Non-volunteers should take notice of the good work their co-workers are doing. Finally, add a special touch when you compile feedback from the charities which details the impact from their point of view.

3) Support Show how important volunteerism is to your organization by continuing to supply the resources needed for these groups to thrive. Put your money where your mouth is when you implement a Dollars for Doers program where your company donates a fixed amount of cash to nonprofits based on the time an employee volunteers. Meet with employee volunteers and gather information about what works and what doesn’t work in current programs. Meet with non-volunteers and ask about them to share what has prevented them from volunteering. Encourage open communication and create action items and goals.

4) Grow Volunteering is good for the employee, good for the company and good for communities. Be sure you are creating opportunities for everyone in your diverse workforce, including on-site, off-site and virtual volunteering opportunities. Create multiple one-off events to support ongoing initiatives. Many companies have chosen to enrich their EVPs by adding a YouGiveGoods online event raising food and supplies for charity. The more opportunities the better!

Employee volunteers build up your company as they build up communities. Give them the recognition they deserve during National Volunteer Month and make a commitment to support their efforts all year long.

1 Forbes.com

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