Easing The Return To Office Through Employee Engagement and In-Person Volunteering
Nearly 52.9 million Americans, or 1 in 5 adults, reported suffering from mental illness with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, employers need to rethink how they engage their employees at work. Corporate volunteering in America is considered an activity that adds purpose and builds employee loyalty. It is time to focus on in-person volunteering to engage employees returning to work after nearly a two-year-long virtual hiatus.
Engaged employees are essential to company profitability and overall organizational well-being. This becomes even more important at a time when companies and organizations are seeking to undo the effects of the pandemic.
Since the pandemic set in, working from home was viewed as more productive and better for mental health. Virtual volunteering too helped engage employees who weren’t in the office anymore. But with virtual fatigue becoming a challenge, in-person volunteering opportunities can provide a refreshing counterpoint to employee engagement as organizations look to fill seats and cubicles once more.
Goodera’s in-person and hybrid volunteering activities can provide HR leaders and senior management with a way to engage employees as they return to work. In addition, such activities can show employees that their return to the office can be just as engaging, rewarding, and fulfilling as working from home.
Before we go any further, let’s look at the advantages that in-person volunteering and employee engagement can bring to the workplace.
1. Volunteering can improve employees’ mental and emotional well-being:
The picture of a raised fist, a pink triangle, and a sequence of stripes in the colors of the rainbow: these are just a few notable examples of how graphic design has shaped pivotal moments in human history, rallying people around a shared cause and encouraging them to walk the distance between ‘the world as it is’ and ‘the world as it could be.’
The Design Museum even curated an entire exhibition on how graphic design has shaped key moments in recent history, from political elections to anti-terrorism and anti-capitalist movements.
So if you’re planning a nonprofit marketing campaign for change, there are a few steps to unlock the full power of design to inform, engage and move people to action.
2. Productivity and loyalty are boosted as a result of volunteering
Employees who participate in volunteering are more likely to be loyal to their company than those who rarely or never volunteer.
By working together in a volunteer setting, they are aligned in the same moral code and work towards the same goal. This results in stronger bonds with their peers, which is a big part of employee engagement.
3. Engaging employees through volunteering can create a sense of pride and belonging.
When employees volunteer and have a better understanding of the impact they are making, they will naturally indulge in more volunteer activities and engage more within the work environment.
4. Volunteering creates a sense of purpose, which is an emotional anchor to the workplace.
Volunteering allows for the intersection of people, passion, and purpose. When people volunteer for genuinely passionate causes, this meaningful exchange can ramp up their sense of purpose.
5. Volunteering helps you attract better talent.
With millennials projected to form 75% of the global workforce by 2025 and Gen-Z, an estimated 30% by 2030— higher levels of engagement through doing good could prove to be a crucial factor in their allegiance.
6. In-person volunteering can enhance people skills and nurture potential leaders.
Just like a happy hour after work or the office Christmas party, volunteering is a less rigid social situation that fosters camaraderie. The community aspect of volunteering, especially in-person volunteering, aligns people around a common cause. Volunteering can be a great tool to help employees build people skills.
7. Volunteering has emotional benefits that let you reap tangible rewards.
Volunteering in person is one of the most emotionally rewarding experiences a person can undertake. Studies have shown that those who had a positive experience of giving back at work were four times more likely to say their teams were willing to give extra to get the job done. So, could volunteering be the key to driving a more productive, engaged workforce in the “New Normal?”
How can Goodera help you put together an actionable in-person volunteering plan?
Goodera is in a unique position to facilitate not only meaningful virtual and hybrid volunteering activities but in-person and in-person volunteering activities. The mix of virtual and in-person opportunities allows for greater volunteer engagement, especially with the person-to-person interaction that accompanies in-person volunteering.
Goodera and its nonprofit partners have created many at-office, off-site, and nonprofit center-based volunteering activities.
These in-person activities cover several cause areas, including D&I for LGBTQIA+, people of color, and people with disabilities, refugee care, animal rights, mental health awareness, and many more.
How Goodera can help…
As mentioned earlier, Goodera’s in-person and hybrid volunteering opportunities allow organizations to engage with employees and smoothen the transition from remote to hybrid and office-based work.
Currently, the 20+ opportunities available cover causes such as D&I for LGBTQIA+, Eldercare, Patient Care, Child Welfare, and Women’s Empowerment.
Volunteers can be a part of impactful activities such as:
- Creating care packages to extend support during Pride month
- Donating meal kits for families with children facing medical challenges
- Making kits for shelter animals
- Assembling gratitude packages for essential workers to help them cope with stress
- Putting together care kits for Ukrainian children taking refuge in centers across Poland
These opportunities are available across the USA. They can be seamlessly and effortlessly booked at your convenience and scheduled at your chosen time. Goodera hosts will facilitate these activities to ensure employees get the most out of the experience.
More than 60% of US workers have spent nearly two years away from their comfort zones at the workplace; they have built a new comfort zone. Unfortunately, asking them to trade this new comfort zone and return to work comes at the expense of employee morale and engagement. The need of the hour is increased awareness and greater engagement, which lets employees feel validated and seen, resulting in a more motivated and driven workforce. This will also ensure those returning to work with mental health issues caused by prolonged isolation take the first step on a journey to becoming whole again.