We all know that charity volunteering is a ‘good’ thing to do. Most of us would love to give up a few hours each week to work at a local food bank, soup kitchen, or even to rattle a tin in order to help a worthy cause. However, in today’s fast-paced society, there are so many pressures on us – family, hobbies, work – that it’s not always practical to get involved as much as we’d like. That’s where volunteering at work comes into its own! By offering your employees the opportunity to give back to their local community in a practical manner, you not only help meet your CSR targets, but you can also give a tangible boost to your entire organisation. Read on to find out how…
1. Boost morale
There’s nothing like going to work and making a real difference. As an occupational safety professional, you know that feeling only too well – after all, you save people’s lives for a living! However, by organising a volunteering week or a one-off community project, you can really help to crank up the feel-good factor throughout your entire organisation, which in turn helps to boost staff retention and productivity. Remember – everyone likes to feel like a hero!
2. Tighten the team
Did you know that at Google’s London HQ, lunch queues are kept deliberately long to force staff to mingle and chat informally? It might seem crazy, but it just goes to show how seriously the biggest companies in the world take the concept of team building. In modern organisations, the dreaded ‘silo mentality’ can be debilitating, turning your office into an echo chamber. Volunteering can be a great way to reconnect with employees you might not know very well, leading to better cohesion, a friendlier atmosphere and cross-fertilisation of ideas. What’s not to love?
3. Brand new skills
While volunteering definitely offers you an opportunity to try new things, the skills you learn are often transferable. Decision making, leadership and negotiation skills can all be learned or improved through a well-run volunteering programme, as well as offering you and your employees a broader perspective on the world around them – a valuable asset for any organisation!
4. Connect to your community
In addition to boosting the buzz within your organisation, volunteering is a fantastic way to raise your profile outside too, getting people talking in the areas where you operate. Just as winning a safety award helps to shine a light on exactly what you do and who you are, volunteering can bring your organisation to the attention of potential new clients and customers. It also provides a great opportunity for your employees to connect with people in the communities they live and work in, making for healthier, happier community relations all round.
5. Go beyond CSR
Too often Corporate Social Responsibility is seen as just another box to tick, and organisations miss the chance to take full advantage of the opportunities it offers. While volunteering certainly helps you meet your CSR criteria, the additional benefits include helping to differentiate and redefine your brand, improve your reputation and attract a higher calibre of employee. Besides, volunteering is a great chance to have fun – the value of which should never be underestimated in our busy, stress-filled workplaces!
Now get involved!
RoSPA has recently launched our new community initiative, LifeForce, which we’re currently piloting in Birmingham, UK, and we’re looking for volunteers! LifeForce is a community based volunteer programme, empowering people and communities by giving them the skills, support and knowledge to stay safe in their homes.
In addition to LifeForce, there are dozens of ways we can get involved. From organising one-off bespoke volunteering days, to organising on-going community-focused projects, we can help ensure you and your employees reap the host of benefits we’ve outlined above. If you’d like to know more, drop us a line at RoSPA HQ: email@example.com
For more thoughts, vital health and safety guides, facts and advice, please sign up to SafetyMatters, RoSPA’s free fortnightly newsletter, and receive our collection of free original e-books!