Employee Volunteering – Something More Than Team-Building!
As corporate organizations around the country begin to devote more time and effort to their corporate social responsibility initiatives, employee volunteering in India is on the rise. Apart from contributing to the betterment of the society and the environment, these corporate volunteering projects also aim to serve the goal of team-building. Team-building by means of employee volunteering is quite an effective idea because it is an opportunity for the employees to build stronger bonds while volunteering together. In fact, in larger organizations, this may be the only chance for the employees to interact with someone who works in a different department. However, there is also a flip side to the corporate volunteering ideas that focus on team-building.
Although the large-scale volunteering activities offer a chance to a majority of the employees to work together, they also restrict the number of volunteering events held by the company in a year.
Not all employees may be comfortable with the idea of participating in such a huge event and may opt out of the same. Due to the restriction in the number of volunteering activities, these employees may never get a chance to contribute to the community because of the lack of an event that is in sync with their passions and skills.
Additionally, the large-scale corporate volunteering events might not necessarily be beneficial for the NGO’s who feel obliged to accept any help that comes their way. Sometimes, the NGO’s need a small team to focus on a particular project or problem statement but these requirements do not fit the company’s bill of a team-building exercise. More often than not, NGO’s accept a proposal that suits the company’s goals but not those of the non-profit organisation. There is a very simple solution to this problem, but it requires the companies to look at the broader picture instead of focusing all efforts on promoting team-building through volunteering.
Corporate organisations need to realize that team-building is only one of the many benefits of volunteering projects. The primary aim should be to contribute to a social cause and to offer a chance to all the employees to participate in some way or the other.
Not every employee might prefer to volunteer in the same manner. Small projects focusing on specific areas, as listed by the non-profit organisation, will appeal to the employees having the relevant skill-set. This will allow more employees to participate in the activities and the non-profit organisation will get the help that it actually needs.
Furthermore, certain employees may wish to help out NGOs that the company does not work with or may choose to attend a volunteering camp in a different city. A great way to be flexible regarding this and to give the employees the freedom to volunteer as per their personal choices is to offer volunteer time off (VTO) as a part of the leave policy of the company.
Although creating the perfect volunteering program for the company may sound complicated, there are some simple steps that can help the company and the employees to make a huge impact to the community. You need to follow these golden rules for coming up with the best volunteering ideas for employee engagement:
- Contact the local NGO’s to understand their requirements.
- List down what the community needs.
- Choose projects that focus on these needs while matching the company’s requirements and the interests and skills of the employees.
Bear in mind that team-building is a significant benefit of corporate volunteering projects, but they can do a lot more for the company, the employees, and the community.
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