10 Powerful Things You Didn't Know About Employee Volunteering

Today’s workforce is one of the smartest and most self-aware in decades. How they acquire job satisfaction has quickly evolved. What used to drive employee retention were things like salary, benefits, job security, and while those things are still extremely important, employees today are looking for additional avenues of motivation and engagement. They want experiences, camaraderie, growth and fulfillment. And one verifiable way to give them those things: employee giving.

On the other hand, corporate philanthropy is good for business too, in the form of more engaged employees, a favorable employer brand and more. Corporate volunteer programs, more specifically, are some of the most effective ways to engage employees in corporate philanthropy, but you probably didn’t know that, did you? Here are some other things you might not have known about employee volunteering… 

Volunteering leads to healthier employees

Healthier, happier employees tend to be high performers and great team players, ultimately contributing to business goals. That’s why employee wellness programs have become so popular in the workplace.

But what if employers could contribute to employee wellness while improving the employer brand and a laundry list of other business objectives like corporate responsibility? UnitedHealth Group and the Optum Institute conducted a 2013 study that revealed volunteering impacted how the respondents viewed their overall health and mood. Of the respondents who, at the time, had volunteered in the last twelve months: 

  1. 94% said volunteering improves their overall mood
  2. 96% said volunteering enriches their life with a sense of purpose
  3. 78% said volunteering helps lower their stress levels
  4. 76% said volunteering makes them feel healthier

Additionally, a recent survey done by Robert Half showed that 61% of U.S. workers believe that taking part in philanthropic activities outside of work enhances their wellness, allowing them to be more effective on the job. Imagine what would happen if they were able to also volunteer on the job…

The takeaway: Save yourself the cost of implementing flashy wellness programs that, unfortunately, have so far been fraught with serious legal ramifications and instead, develop your company’s corporate philanthropy. Facilitating employee volunteer programs will not only benefit the health of the workforce, but potentially business goals.

Read about why pro-bono employee volunteer programs are worth it! 

Volunteering encourages workplace friendships and teamwork

Did you know that 58% of men and 74% of women would refuse a higher paying job if it meant not getting along with coworkers? Volunteering brings teams together for the greater good and it has the potential to impact work relationships. Here are some facts to prove it: 

  1. 77% of millennials would prefer to volunteer with their coworkers
  2. 39% of managers are more likely to volunteer if their CEO does
  3. 64% of employees who volunteered in this study said volunteering with their coworkers strengthened work relationships

The takeaway: Employee volunteer programs are a great way to encourage team bonding. If your company has the resources to implement the kind of programs that allow teams to volunteer together, the benefits of doing so extend from improved work environment to improved team performance and ultimately, to meeting business goals. If the resources aren’t there, look for room in the budget to provide teams with even just one day of the year, paid, to volunteer together. 

Employees want to volunteer at work

According to the Robert Half survey, 59% of respondents said they do not volunteer outside of work. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to, however. Here’s why:

  1. Company-wide day of service is the most successful employee volunteer program in terms of participation numbers
  2. Paid-time off for volunteering has become an increasingly popular volunteer program offered by employers, growing from 54% to 59% in the past two years
  3. Two-thirds of today’s workforce feels overwhelmed by their work

The takeaway: What these facts tell us is that employees want to volunteer, but may not feel that they have the time to do so because of a busy work schedule. Employers can facilitate employee volunteering by offering employee volunteer programs such as days of service, paid time off for volunteering or even skills-based volunteering on company time. Doing this will give employees more time outside of work to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Read more about the most successful employee volunteer programs 


Corporate volunteer programs have an impact on factors such as employee wellness, work environment and employee satisfaction. The power of giving is evident, and it’s there for the taking if employers want to provide their people with the fulfilling careers they so hope to achieve.

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