Paid time off for volunteer work is a great way to engage your staff while helping your community. Generally speaking, most people want to feel that they are engaged in meaningful and important work that makes a difference in the world. However, it is not likely that we can all get this type of satisfaction from our jobs. The busy lives we lead often make it difficult to find the time to volunteer. Paying employees to volunteer during working hours allows employees to participate in their community and reap the many rewards of volunteering. Volunteerism improves self-esteem, provides a sense of accomplishment, and makes a difference in the community. The Corporation for National & Community Service provides a review of research that indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to the many mental and social benefits.
A volunteer work policy consisting of a few paid days off per year is a great non-cash way to improve morale and let your employees know that you care. The Society for Human Resource Management issues an annual survey of employer benefits offered. In 2013, about 20 percent of employers reported giving their staff paid time off for volunteer work. Many employers see this as a tool for increasing engagement and decreasing costly employee turn-over while improving corporate citizenship.
Common perceptions indicate that millennials are more engaged in social justice and volunteer activities than any previous generation. A volunteer work policy may also help set your company apart when it comes to attracting and retaining the next generation of top talent.