5 Benefits of Corporate Volunteering

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5 Benefits of Corporate Volunteering

In the last three decades, corporate volunteering has grown by nearly 150%, representing how it now represents an essential part of a company’s corporate citizenship profile. So how exactly can a corporate partnership with Habitat for Humanity add strategic value to your company?

1. Improved employee engagement -> Better business outcomes

Corporate volunteer programs have been shown to drive employee engagement, as they show employees that their company supports them expressing their individual values and interests, and ultimately fosters a sense that they are part of a bigger cause, whether that be a charitable or business mission. As a result of this, companies that actively promote volunteer programs consistently record greater employee satisfaction, and higher morale. For example, a study by the CIPD reported that out of 1,000 corporate volunteers, 79% said it improved their sense of purpose at work, and 68% said they were more motivated at work [1].

And such higher employee engagement directly translates to a better performing business, with greater productivity and profitability. This was highlighted in a Gallup report across 199 studies covering 152 organizations, 44 industries, and 26 countries, that found that for companies with employees who were more engaged than not that [2]:

Their profitability increased by 16%
General productivity was 18% higher than other companies
Customer loyalty was 12% higher
Quality increased by 60%

Another study by WorkUSA published similar findings, that companies with engaged employees experience [3]:
26% higher revenue per employee
13% total higher total returns to shareholders
And a 50% higher market premium

Therefore, a volunteering program with Habitat can give your company a strong competitive edge, engaging your employees for better business outcomes.

2. Effectively strengthen your company’s CSR image to consumers

Research shows that 21st century consumers tolerate much less corporate decision based purely on profits, with this being perceived as insensitive to the needs of consumers, employees and communities. Therefore, differentiating your company as one with a well-established corporate volunteer program is one of the most effective ways of establishing your company’s identity and reputation to the general public [4]. Australian survey data shows perceived familiarity with a company’s corporate volunteering programme improves their CSR and firm image, with this building within consumers affective and cognitive loyalty as well as increasing their word-of-mouth support for businesses [5]. Therefore, a growing number of companies worldwide have concluded that adopting more socially responsive practices achieves gains for both them and society.

So join the other successful companies that have partnered with Habitat for Humanity, such as P&G and Boral, and significantly improve your company’s corporate visibility. Habitat for Humanity directly works on UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 (Sustainable cities and Infrastructure), which serves as a strong and attractive marketing point for your company.

3. Upskill employees in a cost-effective way

“Employees whose employers implement volunteering programs are more engaged and report higher levels of both autonomy and support from their co-workers and supervisors.” – Frontiers in Psychology [6].

By generating opportunities for employees to volunteer, companies can develop their intangible resources, that being the skills and abilities of their employees. This is because in the process of addressing social issues, employees gain novel experience and flexible skills that they can leverage in the workplace as well. Overall, this makes them more effective in their roles as individual contributors and also within a team. Individually, 80% of corporate volunteers enhanced their communication and presentation skills, with management and leadership capacity also being heightened through corporate volunteering programs [7]. Beyond individual skills, employees also become more proficient working in teams, with major companies such as Barclay’s bank reporting that after community employee volunteering opportunities, 61% of staff increased their team-work skills, and 58% of Barclay’s managers identified a considerable improvement among their staff’s attitudes towards each other [8].

And Habitat for Humanity provides the perfect training ground for your employees to advance their skill-set through working in diverse teams to address the UN SDG’s. Our corporate supporters continuously report positive staff development after our programs, with these benefits being noted by companies such as the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Genworth, JP Morgan, Arup, Cuscal, MetLife, and Salesforce.

4. Millennial talent attraction and recruitment

“Firms are also facing strong demand for CSR from their employees, so much so that it has become a serious part of the competition for talent. Ask almost any large company about the business rationale for its CSR efforts and you will be told that they help to motivate, attract and retain staff.” – Mike Kelly, the head of CSR of KPMG Europe

Recruiting new talent from millennials help to further a company’s innovation and growth, however, millennials have unique criterion about employment and work, with them taking into heavy consideration a company’s corporate social responsibility. From the millennial generation, nearly 50% of interviewees will raise the issue of CSR during the hiring process with a potential for-profit employer, and more than half (61%) of millennials surveyed in the 8th Annual Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey stated that they are likely to factor a company’s commitment to the community into their decision if choosing between two jobs with the same outlines such as location, pay, and responsibilities [9]. Unexpectedly, this held true across all millennials, even among those who did not actively volunteer in their spare time. The same survey also revealed that millennials who participated in corporate volunteer activities are:

Twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive (56% vs. 28%)
More likely to be very satisfied with their employer (51% vs. 32%)
More likely to be very proud to work for their company (55% vs. 36%)
Nearly twice as likely to be very satisfied with the progression of their career (37% vs. 21%)
More likely to feel very loyal toward their company (52% vs. 33%)

The sheer importance to millennial graduates of corporate integration with community issues was further shown by a Stanford Graduate School of Business study, that reported that a full 88% of millennials believe that businesses should be proactively addressing social concerns and environmental issues, and notably as a result of this: “graduates are willing to sacrifice an average of 14.4 percent of their expected salaries to work at socially responsible companies” [10].

Therefore, recognising this changing employment environment and setting up a corporate partnership with Habitat can help your company connect to young talent, to ensure your company has the diversity of staff needed to succeed.

5. Better employee health and wellbeing

Employee volunteering has been proven to be extremely healthy according to many studies, with the benefit you can bring as an employer to helping your employees find their purpose is undeniable. The American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that adults over 50 who volunteer for 2 hours a week or more have reduced risk of mortality, greater physical activity and also better psychological outcomes: optimism and a sense of purpose [11]. Another study also found that companies reported 89% of corporate employees of all ages reported increased job satisfaction and improved physical and emotional health, with this having positive impact to work and business outcomes too [12].

And with the implications to employee health and productivity of volunteering, corporate volunteering has been noted as an affordable and accessible solution for companies looking to decrease their health costs. This is because increased employee engagement leads to lower levels of boredom and risk-taking, thereby reducing injuries. An extensive meta-analysis of 7,939 businesses across 36 companies has showed that when employees are engaged in their roles and tasks at work there is a significant increase in the attention to workplace safety [13]. And with 97% of workers agreeing that businesses are responsible for employee health, measures your company takes to guarantee such will help retain and attract a strong taskforce [14].

So how can a corporate volunteer program with Habitat for Humanity be set up?

Habitat for Humanity has a variety of corporate volunteer programs, such as the Brush with Kindness program, that mobilises teams to conduct landscaping or minor home repairs for disadvantaged, disabled or socially isolated individuals. See https://www.habitat.org.au/bwk/ or contact Head of Partnerships, Zoe Nelson Carrey, on 1800 88 55 99 or email partnerships@habitat.org.au for more information.