A Gift That Keeps on Giving

A Gift That Keeps on Giving

Back in my military days, I was told to never volunteer for anything.  That advice probably got me through basic training, as I watched the go-getters perform some of the most ridiculous tasks I’ve ever seen.  I quickly learned, however, that volunteering also meant duty assignments to some pretty nice places that I never would have traveled to on my own (and some I couldn’t get out of fast enough).  Volunteering is a gift that keeps on giving.

Since I transitioned back to civilian life, I’ve been fortunate enough to work for organizations that have volunteering as part of their mission.  Today, I wouldn’t be part of an organization that doesn’t actively promote having their employees volunteer for something they believe in and allow them time during work to do so.  Surprisingly, a 2015 SHRM survey found that 21% of employers have a program that offers paid time off for volunteering.  While this number is increasing, I really thought it would be higher.  So, if you don’t do it today, you still have an opportunity to be a leader in this area.

If your organization is contemplating putting one in (and my vote is a yes on this), you can click here for some thoughts along with the pros and cons of having a program.

As millennials continue to enter the workforce, benefits such as these will become more and more important.  While the Googles of the world offer almost unlimited time, the rest of us can certainly live below that mark.  You can still give employees time off to give back to something they’re passionate about, and they’ll know that their organization takes pride in them as well as the many not for profit organizations that survive based on the generosity of people giving their time.  Sure, it hits the P&L with extra payroll for non-production time, but the payoff in employee morale, goodwill in the community, and attracting talented people who find giving back important, more than counter balances the red numbers.

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