Thursday, April 24, 2008

Companies giving back with employee volunteer programs

I began volunteering my time in high school through different organizations: from theatre troupes to food banks. These days, I just don’t have the time to fit everything in! Volunteering is now lower on my list of priorities. Are there other options? I am sure I am not alone in my quest to continue to give back while achieving work-life balance.

Well, fortunately, employers are now providing opportunities to volunteer on company time.

A Toronto Metro News article features companies who have adopted the practice. Accenture is on board as a “corporate citizen.” One of their programs, Accenture Development Partnerships, allows employees to work on non-profit projects in developing countries, using their skills and talents to help others. General Electric has offered tutoring programs for elementary school students - bringing them to the GE offices to do their homework with volunteers. These are ways that employees can make meaningful contact with their community in an employer-sponsored way. It’s also a great way to learn new skills, give back and move careers forward.

What are the benefits for companies implementing volunteer projects? According to New York Cares, an organization that matches volunteers with non-profits, volunteering improves recruitment, morale and retention, while creating a dynamic and positive working environment.

So if you are interested in volunteering and your company has a program – what are you waiting for? If your company still doesn’t have a program, take that initiative and start walking the talk!

See other companies that are improving the workplace for their employees in the 2007 Walk the Talk Report

No comments: