At first glance, it looks like there’s a meeting taking place in the conference room. A closer look reveals a group of employees involved in what appears to be an art project. Colorful materials cover the table, and everyone is smiling and laughing. It doesn’t look like the run-of-the-mill business meeting or lunchroom banter. It’s a group of corporate volunteers assembling Project Sunshine Activity Kits that will bring a smile to a pediatric patient.
The scene (in the days before the pandemic) provides a window into the many benefits of corporate volunteer programs. Yes, they are a great way to help those in need and give back to the community, but the benefits go far beyond altruism. It turns out that they deliver an impressive list of business benefits, including the potential to increase the bottom line.
A 2017 study confirmed findings over the last decade that demonstrate the mental, emotional and physical benefits of volunteering. The study found that respondents that volunteered in the previous 12 months said it significantly increased their feeling of well-being:
- 76 percent felt healthier
- 94 percent felt that it improved their moods
- 78 percent reported lowered stress levels as a result of volunteering
All this adds up to happy and healthy employees, which in turn leads to a more productive workplace. In other words, corporate volunteer programs make employees feel better, and employees that feel better are more productive, have better relationships with coworkers and are more engaged.
Employee Engagement Improves Retention and Recruitment
When it comes to operating a successful business, employee engagement is critical. Why? Organizations and teams with higher employee engagement perform at higher levels. For example, organizations that are the best at employee engagement achieve earnings-per-share experience growth at a rate more than four times that of their competitors. They also realize substantially better customer engagement, higher productivity, better retention, fewer accidents, and 21 percent higher profitability. Engaged workers also report better health outcomes. According to Forbes, disengagement costs the US $483 billion to $605 billion a year in lost productivity! Increasing a company’s engagement by just 10 percent can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year.
The more satisfied employees are, the more likely they will remain loyal to a company. Research has shown this to be especially true for millennials. Highly engaged employees are also 87 percent less likely to leave an organization than their counterparts, translating into additional savings on the cost of soliciting and training new employees. Exact amounts may vary, but estimates put a salaried employee’s average replacement cost at six to nine months’ salary. That means replacing an employee earning $60,000 per year requires approximately $30,000 to $45,000 in recruiting and training costs. The cost of replacing executive-level employees can be significantly higher. From that perspective, an investment in corporate volunteering is an investment in the financial health of a company.
Corporate volunteer programs can also be a powerful recruitment tool. Again, this is a strong point for millennials. Survey findings also suggest that 70 percent of millennials strongly favor companies committed to the community. Even of those surveyed who rarely or never volunteer, more than half (61 percent) listed a company’s commitment to the community as a factor when choosing between two potential jobs with the same location, responsibilities, pay, and benefits.
The Fun Factor
We can’t speak for other organizations, but we can tell you that the corporate volunteers we’re fortunate to work with have a lot of fun. Corporate volunteer groups create Sending Sunshine Activity Kits that help keep pediatric patients engaged with a fun activity. Other groups host hospital theme parties for young patients and their families, including face painting, arts and crafts, and fun. Patients, families, and hospital staff are all welcome to join the party which creates a great opportunity for positive memory making in the hospital.
Of course, the situation changed when the pandemic hit, but we still need our corporate volunteers’ help. So, we’ve created several corporate remote volunteer opportunities.
Given the myriad benefits of a corporate volunteer program—making the world a better place and creating a culture of happy, healthy, and engaged employees that can positively affect your profits—it’s no wonder more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies consider it a smart investment.
Sign your company up today and help spread a little sunshine!