Why giving back is good
Does your day at work include painting a mural or gardening in a communal plot? It’s increasingly common for companies to offer corporate volunteering, time off which employees spend volunteering at a charity. In 2012, 70% of companies offered paid volunteering opportunities, up from 53% in 2007.
Part of this rise is because businesses are realising that profits are not the only marker of success. Ethics are increasingly on the agenda. While some companies ask employees to donate to charity, many are allowing them to use their skills differently, to have a refreshing new focus for a few days a year.
Here are ICON we take our moral obligations seriously, always keen to help clients choose better quality garments; we offer several options in terms of sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics, and have proudly taken on work for charity campaigns. If you want to go a step further and consider corporate volunteering, here are the most compelling reasons, both for your employee satisfaction and your bottom line.
It keeps employees motivated
Everyone knows that routine is a killer. If you’re in the same office cubicle 20 days a month, it’s easy to imagine the benefit of spending a day outside helping a community project, meeting new people and accomplishing something tangible. As people take an increased concern in their community and environment, feeling like they contribute something meaningful leads to increased morale, motivation and performance at work. It puts the boss in a good light, too — one study showed that 85% of employees felt more positive about their employer after volunteering.
It can develop employees’ skills
Each of your workers has specific skills, and most would be happy to learn more. It can be a breath of fresh air to send your creative agency to paint the walls of a classroom, or get the team at your record label to give piano lessons at a local community centre. They might come back with fresh new ideas for the business, too. A Timebank survey of 3000 UK employers showed 94% thought that employee volunteering added to the skills of their workforce.
Improves relationships within your team
People can easily get stuck in small social worlds in the office, so activities like volunteering are a great opportunity to make more connections. At a volunteering gig they will meet people from different departments and levels of the business, improving cohesion between various sectors of your workplace. The result will be fresh perspectives that they can bring back to the office.
You can build strong connections with your local community
As businesses try to appear more ethical they are taking an increased involvement in the local community around the office. This makes them seem like positive forces, rather than corporate interlopers in a neighbourhood. Recommending that your employees help the locality will help build social capital for your brand in the area.
Actually make a difference
Corporate volunteering provides so many benefits to your local community and employees, it’s a no-brainer. But beyond making you more attractive as a recruiter and improving your brand image, there is an argument to volunteer simply because it is a good, ethical thing to do. You’ll be amazed that, in the space of just a few hours, you can really make a difference.
Looking to create custom merch for your business on sustainable fabrics? At ICON Printing we can deliver fast turnaround printing on organic and recycled cotton, as well as a range of eco fabrics, and we counting clients in charities such as Stonewall Housing and Coppa Feel, as well as others ranging from the Tate to Boiler Room and TransferWise. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.