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AdobeStock_91842132For some employers, the connection between employee volunteer interests and your company’s goals might not be immediately obvious. But the sense of purpose and the positive impacts of volunteering can have a huge impact on employee engagement. National Volunteer Week is the perfect time to delve into why (and how!) you should encourage employees who volunteer in your organization.

Here are our top 5 reasons to support employees’ volunteer passion projects (plus a nifty printable list of ways to do it):

1. Provides purpose and meaning. The Daniel Pink video below provides a fantastic explanation of how people who find purpose in their work unlock the highest levels of motivation.

It makes sense that purpose is a powerful motivator for employees, but finding a sense of purpose and passion on-the-job is not always easy—not every job is inherently fulfilling. This is where employer encouraged volunteering comes in. Employers can help employees find fulfillment and a sense of purpose by establishing ways to support their extracurricular volunteer activities.

2. Builds relationships and community. Supporting community and relationship-building through volunteering enhances employee morale, helps build strong teams and nurtures relationships in your community. And if you have reluctant networkers on your team, volunteering can be a great opportunity to network for a reason.

Employer-Supported Volunteering can be a great way to network, build skills and enhance community.Twitter_logo_blue

3. Complements Pro D initiatives. Volunteering can be a fantastic way to enhance job performance by building new skills or honing existing ones. Especially for go-getter younger employees, volunteering can be a great way to develop new skills in a meaningful way.

4. Increases job satisfaction. More and more, people are choosing to work for employers who show a commitment to social responsibility and ethical business practices. Supporting volunteers in the workplace increases feelings of ownership and pride in an organization, and can also affect employee turnover rates.

5. Enhances positive visibility. Supporting volunteer projects highlights your commitment to social responsibility, and enhances your public image. The results? You become more attractive to clients and prospective employees. It’s shouldn’t be the most important reason you support giving back to the community, but it sure doesn’t hurt!

The bottom line? It pays off to support and encourage your employees who volunteer. Here’s our printable list of simple ways to start supporting employee volunteer initiatives.

Your Engaged HR Assignment: Do you have a policy about employer supported volunteering? Create a document outlining how your organization supports employees who volunteer, then make sure employees know about it!

We’d love to hear your ideas! What are you doing as an organization to support your employees’ passion projects?

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