8 Ways Volunteering Benefits the Business and its Employees


Jess GreenAssistant Ecologist at Thomson EC

Friday, May 1, 2020

Many people associate volunteering with individuals just starting their career, who need some experience, or those who don’t need to work and have ample free time. While yes, there are many volunteers who fall into these categories, there are a huge number of reasons why volunteering is beneficial even at the height of a professional’s career.

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8 Ways Volunteering Benefits the Business and its Employees
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How does employee volunteering benefit a business?

Businesses like Nationwide, Allianz, and Sage have begun offering their employees the option to take part in corporate volunteer days, and see many benefits in doing so.

1.Enhanced productivity

Allowing employees to use company time to carry out volunteer work indicates employee value. This enables individuals to feel content and inspired to work harder. This is especially true if the volunteer work is relevant to the sector they are employed in. For example, if an Ecological Assistant is able to volunteer in a protected species sanctuary, and see the fruits of their hard work in a real environment.

2.Effective teamwork

In volunteering schemes that allow staff members to work together, employers will find their staff collaborating in new ways, inadvertently honing their people skills. In an environment which depends on teamwork, colleagues must listen to one another and solve problems together. These skills will transfer to your workplace, and will create teams that are more solid, and have more respect and understanding of each other. This makes for a happier and more efficient work environment in which everyone can thrive.

3.Higher quality staff

When employees are able to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in their professional life, to volunteer work, they’re given the opportunity to practice these talents. In the case of the Ecological Assistant who conducts ecology surveys in her employment, volunteer work that involves research and surveys in a similar field will enable her to learn more skills and techniques that can be applied at work. Increased understanding and knowledge in the relevant area can only improve the standard of workforce, as each employee becomes more authoritative in their area – perhaps giving the company the advantage over a competitor.

4.Enhanced company image

Perhaps the most common reason why businesses choose to implement a volunteering scheme is due to the charitable image this creates. It’s likely that all stakeholders, from potential investors to new recruits, will consider all aspects of a company before making their decision, and evidence of humanitarian work might be what tips the scales in your favor.

How does volunteering benefit employees?

There are so many reasons why employees can benefit from volunteer work, particularly if they can find an opportunity that is relevant to their professional field.

1.Self-learning opportunities

Being dedicated enough to take part in volunteer work is an impressive skill; one that can teach a person a lot about themselves. Whether the work is relevant to their career, or it’s humanitarian work to simply do a good thing, taking time to volunteer will reveal what kind of person an individual is, and how motivated they are to work for what they believe in.

In situations where the volunteer work relates to their profession, this can help a person identify whether they truly wish to work in that field. Volunteering can also teach a person about their ability to stay organized, and about time management.

2.Gathering life experience

Exposure to a variety of people and environments helps individuals gain more life experience, which is invaluable. As well as learning about the work you are doing, and about your personality, meeting other people and visiting new places can be useful later in life. Such experiences might give a person the information they need to make a well-informed choice one day, and they might also engender further opportunities in a personal – or professional – capacity.

3.Social opportunities

Often, those taking part in a volunteering scheme will have plenty in common, not least because they’re like-minded. It’s in settings like this where friendships can blossom, as people meet others who share their interests, attitudes, and values. Forming new relationships in a volunteering setting can not only help a person make new friends, but it could also be useful in a professional capacity as a result of inadvertent networking.

4.Enhanced knowledge and skills

A person who volunteers will, of course, learn a lot about that area, whether this is about how to look after animals, or about human nature in a soup kitchen. Those who manage to find volunteering opportunities in the same field they wish to progress in professionally are likely to find that the knowledge and skills they hone while volunteering will vastly benefit their career. Firsthand experience is extremely valuable, and can give an applicant a significant advantage in the hiring process.

Jess Green

Jess Green, Assistant Ecologist at Thomson EC , leading UK-based environmental consultancy providing pragmatic advice on all ecosystems, ensuring you meet environmental compliance on your next project.


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