Volunteering as a Benefit

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6 days ago by Sophie Stones

Volunteering as a Benefit

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There was once a time when giving your employees time off to work at another company would seem outrageous to most of us. However in recent years this hasn’t just been allowed but actively encouraged, with businesses rewarding their employees for taking time off regularly.

As it’s becoming more important for companies to have a solid connection to altruism, offering staff time to volunteer at non-profits is seeming a great opportunity to have a more visible presence within the community.

It’s in fact become so popular, that in 2012, over 70% of companies offered employees paid time-off, to pursue voluntary work. An actually surprisingly slim number, considering 88% of consumers are willing to swap companies, dependant on who offers the better values.

So how are businesses getting ahead of the curve when it comes to voluntary work, if so many of us are spending our time pursuing it?

Not just offering compensation for our time, companies are actually offering their staff incentives to take time away from their desks, with PCL Construction conducting a ‘volunteer recognition luncheon’ in which staff aren’t just treating to lunch. With the chance to win £200 for the charity of their choice, the event is accompanied by awards for those who’ve put significant time into making a difference.

Similarly, employees at Salesforce who choose to work the maximum 56 paid hour’s voluntary work, will have an extra $1000 donated to the non-profit they choose.

Winner of the South East Impact Awards prestigious ‘Business in the community’ award, Mars UK Associates, conducted research on whether this was all really worth it, with the results finding that 98% of their employees see volunteering as a valuable use of business time.

In fact earlier research by LeapCR found that more than 10 percent of employees would willingly take a pay cut, in order to work for a company that encouraged charitable actions, with that number growing higher and higher every day.

There does however appear to be a disconnect between the people and the party, as unlike with other benefits, the FTSE 100 are actually lagging behind in implementing these strategies. Despite the fact that it is actually a relatively cheap scheme to buy into, compared to perks like staff holidays or joining bonuses, VInspired, recently found that over half of all managers are still concerned about both the financial and time costs of allowing their employees to volunteer during working hours.

When it does come to voluntary work as a bonus however, the choice may soon be out of our hands, as a plan to make businesses legally offer three days, and first proposed by David Cameron, is still on the table for the UK government.