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Virtual Volunteering: A New Trend in Recruiting and Retaining Employees

March 16, 2022
Young woman wearing volunteer uniform working at home at her laptop

Employers are facing many challenges well into 2022. One of these has been dubbed the Great Resignation. Employees are resigning from their jobs at an alarming rate, forcing employers to re-prioritize their recruitment and retention strategies. It’s important to understand why employees are resigning to determine the best strategies to keep your business from losing quality talent, as well as ways to improve recruitment in a hyper-competitive market.

The Great Resignation

According to the American Labor Department, 4.4 million employees resigned from their jobs in September 2021. Now known as the Great Resignation, this trend was led mostly by the millennial (anyone born between 1981 and 1996) and Gen Z (anyone born between 1997 and 2012) workforces. These two groups account for much of the active workforce in the world today, with millennials accounting for about 75% of the global workforce and Gen Z forming about 30%. This means the majority of the workforce is deciding to leave their job. But why?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a higher rate of disengagement among employees in the U.S. Less engaged employees are more likely to leave a job than employees who feel highly engaged at work. COVID-19 has had a tremendous effect on employee mental health and has caused many to re-prioritize their goals to align more with personal satisfaction and values. So how do employers combat this trend, and create a greater sense of engagement among employees to increase retention? Abhishek Humbad, founder and CEO of Goodera—the world’s leading corporate social responsibility and virtual volunteering company—believes reinforcing a sense of purpose and community through employee volunteering opportunities is the key to creating greater engagement and retention that aligns with what employees are prioritizing.

Create Volunteer Opportunities

According to a report from Deloitte, 89% of employees believe that companies that sponsor volunteer activities create a better overall working environment. Promoting company-sponsored volunteer opportunities boosts employee morale and creates a positive work environment. However, with today’s remote work environment, how can employers promote volunteering? Humbad says virtual volunteering opportunities are the solution. He calls it “volunteer-from-home,” and companies can offer volunteer opportunities virtually with the organizations they sponsor. For example, if a company sponsors a local charitable organization, its employees can volunteer while remote. They can attend virtual events, or volunteer their time to tasks that don’t require them to be in-person such as social media posts or administrative tasks. This is a great way to connect employees with valuable volunteer experience while giving them the time and resources to connect them with volunteer organizations.

Virtual volunteering allows employees to invite their families to participate and helps companies save on operating costs, logistics, and other overhead expenses that come with in-person events. With virtual volunteering, you are able to measure the impact more accurately to ensure time and resources are being used efficiently. The employees also have the ability to interact directly with the volunteer organization, allowing them to have a greater sense of accomplishment and purpose.

Goodera’s research found that 52% of surveyed companies are switching to virtual volunteering, creating two and a half times more volunteering experiences since 2017. These companies also found increased engagement among employees, a greater positive impact on the community, and improved employee mental health and wellbeing.

Finding new ways to increase employee retention is key to preventing the Great Resignation from impacting your company. Whatever you are looking to implement, a professional employer organization like AccessPoint can help. With our team of human resource professionals, we can help your company determine the best engagement and retention strategies for your workplace. Contact us to learn more.

Sources

CNBC

Forbes

Goodera