A passion for volunteering is commendable. Some people are so enthusiastic about giving back that they may want to recruit more people to help them. They may find that their workplace is an excellent place to lead volunteer recruitment efforts.
Companies are diverse, but they also tend to attract like-minded people, which can make it easier to recruit potential volunteers. Business owners or human resources personnel looking to strengthen employee relationships and give back to their communities may consider starting workplace volunteer programs.
Here are some tips to start this journey.
Involve management: It is important to get the support and approval of company leaders before starting a volunteer group. Since you may be using company resources and eating into company time, make sure your supervisors are supportive. They may also be able to let organizers know if a certain cause is complementary to the company’s mission or if it undermines their mission.
For example, a company that manufactures plastic products may not come into contact with volunteer groups that have negative things to say about plastic products.
Choose a cause to support: While national nonprofits are worth supporting, employees may be more enthusiastic about partnering with local initiatives. Human resources departments or employees who start workplace volunteer programs can ask workers about causes.
For example, a company that produces clothing and outdoor recreation equipment may wish to support local conservation-focused efforts in nearby parks. If a company has a strong stance on education, direct volunteerism towards providing supplies for students or improving technology resources in schools.
Start recruiting volunteers: Communicate with employees and explain the program’s mission during your recruiting efforts. This may be a task to which the human resources department can contribute. If the company has a department that organizes employee engagement activities, that group would also be a valuable resource.
It is also important to think about where volunteers can fit in. Assigning tasks and determining the number of volunteers and man-hours needed to complete the tasks can give a better idea of the scope of the business.
Establish when volunteering will take place: It is best to have ground rules about the amount of employer-supported volunteer work that will occur after hours. Some companies may be willing to take certain chunks of time out of the workday, such as establishing early layoff Fridays for volunteers. Employees can base their participation on how it will affect their schedules.
Establishing a workplace volunteer program can be a great way to get involved and build strong relationships within the community.