Infographic Maps Growing Trend in Employee Volunteer Programs

By Kristina Roberts

Employee volunteering is a hot topic followed by JS Daw & Associates. We’re seeing more and more Canadian businesses encouraging their employees to volunteer regularly. What does this look like? This original infographic from JS Daw & Associates provides some interesting Canadian stats and insights about this growing trend.


As highlighted by the infographic, businesses can offer four main forms of support to employees who volunteer:
1. Adjusting work schedules
2. Providing employees with time off with pay to achieve their volunteer goals
3. Providing employees with time off, without pay to achieve their volunteer goals
4. Providing access to company equipment and facilities

As the amount of support for employee volunteering expands so does the total community contribution. To demonstrate this point, it has been proven that the median number of volunteer hours nearly doubles for employees who have 3 types of employer support compared to those who have none. Businesses with a formal volunteer program see even better results. Even though the benefits (see below) are well documented, only 14% of Canadian businesses have formalized employer volunteer programs.


So what benefits do businesses see? Why are more companies starting to formalize or expand employee volunteering support? Three key reasons stand out:

1) Corporate Volunteer Programs increase overall employee engagement
According to The Economist, 84% of senior leaders report that disengaged employees are one of the biggest threats to business. The result of a disengaged workforce is a lack of interest, motivation and productivity. Disengagement has a significant impact on the bottom line and the earnings per share growth rate.

Fortunately, corporate volunteer programs are part of the solution! Hewitt & Associations found that, “the more a company actively pursues worthy environmental and social efforts, the more engaged its employees are.” Employee volunteer programs provide a meaningful outlet for those passionate about making a difference in their community. By providing volunteer opportunities and outlets companies enhance purpose-driven work – which is closely linked to boosted morale, employee pride, job satisfaction and productivity.

2) Corporate Volunteer Programs allow employees to develop their professional skills
Skill and relationship development are at the heart of many employee volunteer initiatives. Community based corporate volunteer programs allow opportunities for team-building activities, and improved relationships between co-workers. These relationships contribute to employees’ social and emotional well-being. Volunteering also contributes to the development soft skills that are crucial for business professionals such as problem solving and communication skills.

3) Corporate Volunteer Programs have a positive effect on employee recruitment and retention
Volunteer Programs increase loyalty to a company and help to keep valuable employees on the job. According to the Talent Edge 2020 survey conducted for Deloitte Consulting by Forbes Insights, meaningful work is more important to employees than any other retention initiative.

Volunteer Programs are also cited as key to attract top talent – especially within the younger generation. A report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers showed that 88% of millenials are more likely to choose to work for companies that have strong CSR values, and contribute positively to the community.

So there you have it. Not only do volunteer programs benefit non-profit organizations and the community, they also provide a variety of important benefits for both the employees who volunteer and the companies they work for. Corporate Volunteer Programs create win-win-win solutions!

So how can you get started? What is the best way of doing this? Join the discussion on Twitter @jocelynedaw