Most people want to give their time and support a cause that’s important to them, but finding the time and the right opportunity can be a challenge. With many people leading busy lives, community service may always be on the to do list, but never get checked off.
Fortunately, more employers have started offering community service programs where employees are allowed to volunteer during their work day. The benefits to the employer and the employee are numerous, with some examples being:
- Employees get to know their coworkers on a different level, and there is an opportunity to show leadership skills in a non-threatening environment.
- Not all employees are comfortable networking, but individuals who are passionate about a group they volunteer with can become great ambassadors for their company while doing something good.
- There is no better feeling than helping someone in need. Group volunteer efforts can be a huge morale booster!
I am lucky enough to work for a company that supports volunteering during work time, and have the chance to coordinate many of our community service efforts. The Lawson Group implemented a Community Service Program in 2012, and it has been a work in progress ever since; getting better year by year. We have offered a handful of opportunities annually, our most recent being The Granite United Way Day of Caring, which took place on September 9, 2015. This was our most successful event yet, with 62% of our full time employees participating in three different projects in the Concord area. I asked employees what they thought of the opportunity, and these are some of the responses I received:
It felt really nice to do something for others. Sometimes as people, we think that we want to do something like volunteer, but stop ourselves because, perhaps, we feel intimidated or awkward. It was nice working with coworkers in a different environment than the regular work place. It was nice to get to know some of our coworkers on a different level.
I think many people struggle to find time, between work and family commitments, to volunteer in their communities. I’m very grateful The Lawson Group provides its employees with volunteer opportunities to participate in during the work day. It’s a great feeling to give your time to organizations that need help. I look forward to being able to participate in more volunteer opportunities.
The consulting group did some painting at Second Start. The building was very impressive, and the Executive Director who gave us a tour highlighted all of the efforts made over the years to preserve the historical building… Knowing the history made it even more special to me knowing that we were helping in the efforts to preserve the building and its amenities. We weren't just helping a daycare, we weren't just painting a fence; we were helping the history, the adults who need to further their education, refugees who are coming to Concord to learn english and cultural basics, and so much more.
This was one of the best volunteer days I have been a part of, I really felt that we were making a difference by improving the after school center at the YMCA. Looking forward to next year!
I encourage anyone interested in starting a workplace Community Service program to do so. You can start small and build the program as you gain traction. I am confident you will find many benefits! Probably even more than I've listed here.