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The Team that Volunteers Together Stays Together: 3 Ways Your Workplace Can Give Back

Ask any human resources manager what their single biggest challenge is and they're sure to say it's keeping their staff intact.  In the age of job-hopping, when the average worker stays with a company for only a few years, employee retention has become a critical issue. The never-ending cycle of losing and replacing workers not only hurts efficiency and the bottom line, it also can damage employee morale. What are business leaders to do?Volunteering

Altruism to the Rescue

It might surprise you to learn that most job applicants want to work for companies with a reputation for community service and engagement. Even the youngest generation in the workforce, the so-called Millennials, say that volunteering at work is important to them. In fact, a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 88% of Millennials gravitate toward companies that have good corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. Here are 3 ways your business can help itself while helping others.

Click for Charity

The easiest and most efficient way to give back is to go online and donate directly to the charity of your choice. Websites like charitynavigator.org let users search for and contribute to both local and national charities. The main advantage of this virtual strategy is efficiency, since you can give as much as you like, as often as you like, in a matter of minutes.Charity Navigator

Although this method should make your staff feel better about the work they do because it helps those in need, it will not provide the meaningful one-on-one interactions and experiences that come with donating time rather than money. However, this is a great option for larger companies that want to give money to multiple charities across the nation and around the world.

Sponsorship

Philanthropic organizations are always in need of fundraising sponsors for the events they coordinate. While most businesses donate because they believe in the cause, they also receive good press when their company's name is attached to a charity or fund-raising event. This can go a long way on the local level and should serve as a source of pride for your entire staff.

Although most sponsorships are one-time, short-term commitments, it is possible to partner with a charity that shares your values for a much longer period of time. Depending on the arrangement, this may allow your workers to take a more active role in the philanthropic organization, including volunteering and organizational assignments.

In-Kind Contributions

You don't always have to give money to contribute to a charity. An in-kind contribution is defined as a non-cash donation that involves goods, services, and non-monetary transactions. Here are a few common examples of in-kind donations:

  • Loaning out company space for charity auctions, fundraising, or special events
  • Devising a marketing plan for a philanthropic organization, free of charge
  • Allowing a charity to use your office equipment, supplies, and space at no cost

In-kind contributions are great for local businesses that want to give back to their community without having to donate large sums of money. It is no wonder they are extremely popular with small businesses that want to get involved but can't write huge checks like the major corporations.

No matter which option you choose, donating time and/or money can help improve job satisfaction by keeping employees interested, engaged and connected with their colleagues in a shared effort to help others. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving to all involved.