Top 5 Tips for Volunteering With Your Employees
Volunteering with your staff is a great way to build camaraderie and give back to your community. However, before you pick out which park you’re going to clean up, or which food bank you’re going to support, there are a few things you need to know!
1. Volunteering is voluntary. Under no circumstances should you force your employees to participate in volunteering or punish them for not volunteering. No one should be made to feel bad if they don’t want to support a certain cause (or any cause).
2. Choose wisely. When picking an organization to support, do your research. What opportunity is the best for a team of your size, ability and interests? Have you talked to employees about local causes that they are interested in? Instead of deciding on an organization on your own, it’s important to get feedback from your team so they feel that they are an important part of the decision-making process.
3. Give wisely. Once you decide on an organization to help, figure out HOW you can help. Contact the organization to find out what they really need and how you could maximize your participation. Do they need people on-site to clean up trash at a park, or would they prefer a cash donation? Make sure you are giving the help they really need, not giving the help you want to give.
4. Lead by example. As a leader, if it appears that volunteering isn’t important to you, or that you’re constantly pushing it to the “back burner,” volunteering won’t be important to your employees, and they will write it off as a low priority. Ensure that you have the drive, time and energy to focus on your volunteering efforts before launching a company initiative.
4. Share your progress! Set a goal (100 hours community service) or promote an event (“Saturday Park Clean-Up!”) within your location or on social media. It’s fun to make your progress public for your customers to see. Plus, highlighting fun volunteering events (and sharing photos) is a great way to create a buzz around your volunteer events – maybe encouraging other employees to join in the fun!
Have you had experience volunteering with your team? How did it go? Share your feedback in the comments section below!