Here’s What Corporate Volunteering Will Look Like in 2018 – Benjamin Shephardson

mickyates Community, Leader, leadership, Organization 0 Comments

Corporate volunteering is good for your business. It’s also good for the community. It’s a win-win, and that’s why it’s a good investment in 2018 and beyond. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, “88% of Millennials gravitate toward companies with proven corporate social responsibility programs.” Here’s what corporate volunteering will look like in 2018 and beyond.

Skills-Based Volunteerism Is on the Rise

Skills-Based Volunteerism (SBV) is the trendy buzzword in corporate volunteering for 2018. It happens when workers use the uncommon skills they already have to volunteer. For instance, a copywriter could tutor high school students in English. Or a digital marketer could teach Adobe Photoshop to owners of boutique marketing agencies in the Philippines.

Andrew Chamberlin is the chief economist for the large jobsite Glassdoor. He opines that “ U.S. companies often complain that workers don’t have the skills needed for the jobs available.” This cry is heard around the globe. Well, one fix to this quandary is corporate volunteering. Employees who participate in skills-based volunteerism report a 142% increase in job-related skills as opposed to traditional volunteers. Moreover, the benefits don’t stop with these “hard” skills. Volunteers also develop “soft” skills such as leadership, communication, and empathy for others, which are vital for success in management, vital for moving up the corporate ladder.

The importance of SBV really can’t be overstated. Traditional volunteering is great, but SBV is the cherry (plus the whipped cream) on top. Here’s one last eye-opening stat on the issue. True Impact says, “Volunteers involved in SBV programs are 47% more likely to report job satisfaction than traditional volunteers.” SBV is the trend in corporate volunteering to watch for in 2018.

Public Relations Is Getting Tricker. Can Corporate Volunteering Help?

One job has changed dramatically in the last 15-20 years. That would be the duty of a public relations manager. The advent of social media means it is so much harder to control the PR message. In the 20th century, PR was done via television, radio, and newspaper. Now social media has flipped those ideas on their head. There’s a lot more noise, and it’s much harder to be heard than before. Also, news travels a lot quicker these days, and putting the genie back in the bottle, so to speak, is nigh impossible.

Corporate volunteering won’t solve all of a company’s PR issues. It would be folly to pretend that it did. Yet, it certainly can help. PR is more about getting your company’s name in the newspaper, a tactic that is becoming less effective than ever. Pew Research reports that newspaper circulation has fallen for 28 years in a row. Corporate Volunteering is about making contacts in the community, which helps heaps with PR. Pulse Survey says, “40% of a company’s reputation is determined by volunteering and corporate social responsibility.

Volunteering boosts your PR. Naturally, you don’t do it for that reason alone, but it is a pleasant benefit.

Corporate Volunteering and Networking

Business networking has been essential for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. For instance, the epic battle over the future of electricity between Tesla and Edison was largely determined by Edison’s contacts, connections which were more robust. Volunteer work is a great way for companies to build connections with other companies and entities.

One key question remains. Is corporate volunteering a viable alternative to traditional networking, such as your average conference or meet-and-greet? Business Insider has food for thought. They opine that “The best networking happens when you’re not networking.” In other words, many times the magic happens in life when you’re not thinking of yourself. It lowers the stakes, reduces the pressure of networking, allowing companies to develop contacts in a more organic way.

Corporate volunteering should be done with networking in mind. The opportunity is too valuable to miss. Naturally, volunteering provides so much more value than just adding contacts to the phone. That being said, the chance for networking to add value to a business is unprecedented.

Volunteer Work and Company Loyalty

Employee turnover is a big (and expensive) problem for corporations. Zane Benefits says that it costs “6 to 9 months salary” to replace an employee. If someone is making $100,000 a year, it takes $50,000 to $75,000 to replace them. That’s a lot of green.

Perhaps surprisingly (as there is a widespread idea that people don’t like to spend too much time at their job), employees who do volunteer work are more loyal to their company. A study from Deloitte says that more than half the employees who volunteer are “very loyal” toward their company, and would “likely recommend” their company to a friend. The idea is that employees connect with each other in fresh ways when they do a volunteer project together. And naturally, when you like your coworkers, you’re more likely to stick at your job.

One key point is that volunteers get the most satisfaction from their efforts when they have meaningful involvement. If someone feels unable to help, unable to contribute significantly, they won’t get much out of corporate volunteering. That’s why SBV (skills-based volunteering) is so important. Companies should take on projects that match their employee’s unique strength. If employees have a special/rare skill, it’s ideal to help them share it.

Tracking Corporate Volunteering

The American Fitness Chain LA Fitness has a memorable motto, “What gets measured, gets improved.” The idea applies to many areas of business and life. Corporate volunteering is no exception. Corporate Volunteering has a lot of benefits, but if companies don’t track it, they’re unlikely to consistently increase it. One trend for 2018 will be to track volunteer stats, so companies can see where they are. What can be tracked? There are various stats such as employee participation rates, number of hours volunteered employee satisfaction from volunteer work (done anonymously via surveys), and other ways too. Also, getting other feedback from surveys, such as ideas for future volunteer events, is a good way to keep employees happy.

Did we miss anything? How else do you think corporate volunteering will change in 2018 and beyond. What changes are on the horizon? Do you think corporate volunteering is getting more popular or less popular? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Author: Benjamin Shepardson is a contributing writer for (publication) and the founder of NoStop Blog Writing Service. With an extensive career in digital marketing and web development, Ben’s knowledge of the industry has enabled small businesses to scale and grow through well-crafted content and strategy.

5 Leadership Communication Tips to Build Employee Engagement – Ray Bennet

mickyates Communication, ideas, Leader, leadership, Organization, Teams 0 Comments

Effective leadership communication is not only important for allowing the business to leverage the unique insights, knowledge, and talents of its employees, but also to encourage a sense of engagement and strong community. In fact, according to a recent survey, firms that implement a well-planned leadership communication strategy tend to have less employee turnover, a 47% higher return for shareholders and enhanced employee engagement. So how can a company improve its leadership communication to enhance employee engagement? Here are the five top evidence-based strategies to engage employees using effective communication techniques.

  1. Setting the Context

It must be reiterated that each employee enters the work environment with his or her own context, with a combination of upbringing, culture, memories, and varied experiences. One aspect of the leader’s job is to develop a shared vision for the entire team by making sure that each employee has a clear understanding of the bigger picture and their roles in it. As such, managers must constantly communicate the reasons behind the business plans and decisions. Motivate followers to identify with the company processes. A useful strategy here would be to link organizational processes to your specific department, talking to your subordinates about how their work relates to the organizational success. Failing to set the context means that the leader contributes to creating a silo mentality, where individual employees do not see how their unique contributions matter.

  1. Facilitate Team-Wide Peer-To-Peer Conversations

Communication between employees is critical in creating a team culture and in sharing ideas. Good leadership communication should use such strategies as instant messaging applications to enhance communication and congruence within teams. Through such applications, leaders create ways for subordinates to share questions, information and ideas, thus empowering employees to seek solutions from their peers, thus strengthening the connection between colleagues and improving knowledge transfer.

  1. Make Goals and Objectives Clear and Visible

In a recent survey, 70% of respondents agreed that goal clarity was among the top three factors influencing their intrinsic motivation and work engagement. By publishing your company and team goals and making sure that the information can be accessed by all team members, leaders keep employee intrinsically motivated as they know what is expected. The idea here is that employees tend to perform better when the goals of the employer are transparent and easy to comprehend. You must also avoid disruptions to employee workflow with pestering emails and frequent meetings. You can get more assistance with developing effective emails and publishing goals for a top writing agency like OK Essay.

Here is an illustrative summary of the other elements of employee engagement you should consider.

  1. Be Up-Front and Focus On Lessons Learnt

Employees are better engaged when there is a feeling of transparency, and where information is shared. Top leaders must share information, particularly information that is seen as being too sensitive. The more information employees have access to, and the more they are facilitated to understand the information, then the more likely that they will be able to contribute to the company in a meaningful manner. Effective leadership communication should also look to learn from issues, rather than pointing fingers at mistakes. Do not ask ‘who did this?’ but rather, inquire how the team can learn from it. Being open about mistakes and success will form an environment of greater respect and trust from employees.

  1. Explain Expectations and Show Recognition

It is baffling how often managers assume that, since they have told subordinates that they want them to engage in a different way, they must definitely understand what is expected of them. In most cases, they won’t. Explain to employees exactly what behaviors are expected of them, as well as the ideas you are looking for. Ask questions to get the employees brainstorming.

In addition, good leadership communication demands that leaders show recognition for outstanding performance or contribution. Although research has shown employee recognition programs to be an important driver of employee engagement, only about 59% report that their managers tell them when they have performed well. Always offer feedback on employee performance and offer praise whenever warranted.

Use these five tips to improve leadership communication within your organization, and enhance the overall engagement and performance of your employees in the long term.