Volunteering: the catalyst bringing positive changes to companies
When you look at company growth over the last five years there is one small trend that not many people talk about. We’re referring to Human Resources and management departments having increased interest in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programs. These programs have made massive differences in terms of a positive image both in and out of the workforce.
We have seen that not only does volunteering affect the lives of the communities that are helped, it also affects the wellbeing of corporate volunteers; this in turn helps the company itself with job satisfaction increasing for paid and unpaid employees. With the emergence of CSR departments, volunteering has become an effective way to bring companies, communities, and their employees together.
Social engagement leads to success
Research has shown that companies who engage in social responsibility programs have an increased success rate, employee satisfaction and customer approval. This is not just internally with their employees, but also externally with their international brand image. According to Business Journals, 66% of customers are willing to pay more for goods and services from companies they view as socially responsible. In other words, corporate charity is good for the bottom-line.
A good brand image is essential to the success of any business. When companies engage in CSR initiatives, they become more recognisable and can gain traction as well as interest in customers and clients who may not previously have considered them. Consumers tend to do business with companies they are not only familiar with, but also ones that align with their values.
Understanding consumer values is important to the success of any organisation; businesses can give back to their communities in many ways such as donations, volunteering and fundraising. Taking the initiative to reach out to those in need generates a positive relationship between the corporation’s iage and public approval.
Today’s consumers want more from a company than just the products they sell. Giving back through CSR services is an effective way for companies to show their communities they care.Studies show a 21 percent increase in profit when their employees were engaged and involved in the community. Customers are then more likely to spend money with an organisation that is associated with positive contributions to society. “Companies that fully integrate social responsibility into their business operations are well placed for healthy financial returns on their investments,” stated an article published by Inc.com. Conscious consumers seek companies who work towards making a positive impact on the community and environment. In short, CSR programs offer increased profits.Giving back helps to increase employee involvement while increasing profits. Employees who feel good about the company they work for are more likely to have higher job performance, pride in their work, and increased motivation.
Public perception is good for the financial growth of business. This will actually affect the overall returns for investors. According to Chris B. Murphy, author of ‘Why Social Responsibility Matters to Businesses,’ “From an optics perspective, socially responsible companies project more attractive images to both consumers and shareholders alike, which serves to positively affect their bottom lines.” This is because financial security is associated with the ability to give to others.
CSR programs are a smart investment. Businesses that are able to provide finances to support a CSR program are considered financially secure by shareholders. It is a strong indicator that the business is performing well. This is especially true for businesses who can afford to donate company time to CSR programs.
Public and financial gains are not the only positive outcomes for socially responsible businesses. Increased employee morale and employee productivity are also incentives to implement things like the ability to volunteer. Employees tend to feel more positive about themselves and the job they do when they are able to participate in CSR programs that help and serve the community. According to achiever.com these programs help align the employee with the values, mission and vision of their organisation which will in turn lead to things like increased employee satisfaction.
Volunteering for a CSR program is also a great way for employees to get to know each other. Usually work doesn’t allow time for social interaction and mingling of employees. Getting the chance to meet, especially on company time, helps to build strong teams and a united workforce. This is still the case even during Covid-19 restrictions.
According to Moving Worlds, “2020 has changed the way we do just about everything, including CSR. We now interact with the world through screens from our homes, and limit our in-person interactions.”
Although social interactions are now done virtually the need to have them remains the same. Many organisations have switched to virtual volunteering in lue of face to face interaction. Online organisations, such as 1Hour, have had a significant impact on the success of digital volunteering.
How you can help through volunteering
1Hour is an online organization that allows volunteers to safely interact and teach children. Companies can continue to use their CSR programs and now team up with organizations that provide remote-volunteering through the use of sites like Zoom and Google Meet. Presently, these are safe ways for employees to interact with each other whilst volunteering and also while practicing social distancing. Companies weary of offering CSR services amidst the lockdowns can participate online.
According to dosomething.org, “Volunteering online lets you donate your virtual time to a cause space that matters… You can make a difference even if you can’t go physically volunteer somewhere.”
As the uncertainty of the lockdowns loom, companies are getting on board with virtual volunteering. As the need for traditional volunteers declines, virtual employee volunteering is on the rise. Companies are investing their resources to help their employees stay engaged with the community and involved with the business.
Whether donating time, money, or resources, a CSR program is a great way to boost your business. Community support and employee involvement are important ingredients for success and a Corporate Social Responsibility program helps to build a positive reputation for the company, while giving back to the community and its employees.