The corporate world may have a cold reputation, but companies are increasingly looking to engage their employees with corporate social responsibility initiatives.
A survey of over 4,000 corporate employees conducted by the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) found that up to two thirds have participated in corporate volunteering over the past twelve months.
Leader of the research Dr Debbie Haski-Leventhal believes that volunteering is becoming more widespread as companies realise the positive effects it can have on productivity.
“Corporate volunteering leads to improved employee engagement, organisational commitment, job satisfaction and retention. This presents companies with an excellent tool to impact not only communities but also employees’ wellbeing and the financial bottom line,” Haski-Leventhal said.
The most important reason for taking part was that it makes work more meaningful, according to the majority of respondents.
Over 85 per cent of volunteers said they would continue to volunteer in the future because it made them feel they were doing something meaningful and making a real difference in the community.
Sixty per cent of respondents not volunteering stated that they are likely to join at some point in the future if presented with the right opportunities, while 38 per cent said they’re not volunteering because they haven’t been asked. Other common barriers include being too busy, preferring to volunteer privately, and preferring to donate money rather than volunteering.
MGSM recommends that employers offer volunteering opportunities that are accessible to employees in terms of location, time, and through clear communication, while support from the direct managers and involvement of the organisational leadership is also essential to increasing participation.