Whether it’s organizing a clothing drive, planting trees in a park or taking part of a local clean-up effort, community volunteer efforts are a win-win for both the community and businesses. While these types of activities certainly boost your company’s image, they can also elevate employee pride and morale, improve teamwork and enhance retention by providing employees with fun and rewarding experiences. In fact, according to a workplace study on volunteering, 62 percent of 18 to 26-year-olds polled said they would prefer to work for a company that offers volunteer opportunities.
There’s no shortage of volunteer opportunities that would benefit your community, so consider your office culture and fellow employees’ interests when choosing an office-wide volunteer project. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Leave a Mark – Make an impact by serving the people in your community that need it the most. Homeless shelters, children’s care centers and assisted-living homes for seniors often have a multitude of needs, allowing your colleagues to volunteer for certain tasks – such as serving food or doing light maintenance work, that suit their talents and interests. These opportunities also are great for teambuilding – providing everyone the occasion to bond over something other than daily life in the office, and enabling colleagues that may not work closely together the chance to know each other better.
- Assemble and Donate – Not everyone is able to dedicate time outside of work to volunteer activities – but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to contribute. On-site volunteer activities at the office are a great way to engage a broad level of employees. Consider organizing a clothing or coat drive, collecting toys for needy children or assembling emergency preparedness kits for a community in need.
- Go Green – Everyone benefits from a cleaner environment, so take advantage of the warm summer months by planning an outdoor activity that helps improve your community’s parks and wildlife areas. Contact local nature organizations or your town’s park department to assist with finding eco-friendly projects that are appropriate for the size of your group and level of commitment. Tasks may include landscaping projects, removing invasive plant life, planting trees, preserving animal habitats or removing graffiti or debris.
Participation is the key to success for any of these opportunities, so be sure to create a sign-up sheet on copy paper and display it prominently in a common area, such as the office kitchen or break room. And while the volunteer activity should be rewarding in and of itself, show your gratitude by printing Certificates of Accomplishment to participants once the project is complete. Now get out there and make a difference!
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