Employee volunteering is about giving time, energy and skills-freely. Unlike many things in life there is choice involved in volunteering. Finding new interests and hobbies through volunteering can be fun, relaxing and energizing. What I like about volunteering is that it brings together a diverse range of people from all backgrounds and walks of life and can be a rich source of inspiration. It is an excellent way to develop one’s interpersonal skills. It also offers an incredible networking opportunity. Not only does it help an employee develop lasting personal and professional relationships but it is also helps them learn about people from different environments and backgrounds.
It is for all these reasons and more, that organizations encourage volunteering by its employees. For example, one of the volunteering program at CSS Corp was focussed on E-Waste. It was great to see employees keen to understand more about it and what they could do to make a difference. A key learning from the program – was most of them were honest enough to agree that till date they had not thought about the dangers of junking their old gadgets, or about recycling the e- waste responsibly. However, by the end of the session, there was complete agreement that they need to start caring about the environment and pollution and hence no more junking old phones without thinking first. All participants have committed to change!
Volunteer programs therefore create a superb channel for an engaged corporate culture that attracts top talent and keeps them engaged. It is also an effective way to develop leadership skills. Volunteering can also help develop soft skills such as problem solving, mentoring and communications. For example the volunteering program at CSS Corp is structured to Energize – through Internal Communications, impactful messaging and leadership commitment, Empower – by allocating responsibilities and in the process developing leadership skills through mentoring and feedback and Emulate – giving an opportunity to be role models and create a snowball effect.
I feel through volunteering programs like these, enable and empower individuals to make a difference at their workplace and their homes and give them a sense of responsibility to care for their environment. This goes a long way to show that by having a committed workforce we can change the world!