Do Corporate Volunteer Programs Really Make a Difference?

As more companies rush to invest in volunteer programs to boost their employees’ engagement and development, raise the level and quality of their recruits, and even drive sales, measuring a program’s value is often an afterthought. So, how does a company evaluate whether the employee program it has carefully crafted is hitting the mark and generating results?

It’s all about the data

Companies that have successful corporate volunteer programs routinely survey their employees to get an understanding of their engagement levels. It’s a powerful tool for assessing employee satisfaction, productivity and retention. Asking your employees how important your volunteer program is to their overall job satisfaction can help you better track their overall engagement with the company. So, go ahead–use surveys, interviews or evaluations to collect data right after a volunteer event, or schedule them periodically throughout the calendar year to get more insight into how well your program is or isn’t doing. Having that information will allow you not only to share the information across the organization, but will also enable you to tweak your program as needed.

You can also evaluate your program’s effectiveness by measuring changes in employee skill development. While it’s always great for your employees to participate in programs where they can showcase their skills, companies that position employees to learn new skills through volunteerism are more apt to see increases in participation. Having your Human Resources Department track and study changes in skill types and proficiencies could lead to additional insights into the strengths of your workforce capabilities and open new opportunities for employee advancement.

Along the same lines, why not look at the effects of the program on your corporate brand and relationship development? Your Marketing and Communications Department is already using analytics to get better insights into the strength of your brand. However, using SEO rankings, page impressions and the number of retweets to evaluate your volunteer program might not get you the data you need. To get that understanding, focus on the changes in how your customers, prospects and even job recruits are interacting with your brand. That could range from changes in the number of job applicants or the percentage of applicants accepting job offers. Have you seen an uptick in new customer or business partners? Are they citing your company’s corporate volunteerism as a key attribute for wanting to engage with you?

Corporate volunteer programs do make a difference. When you engage employees with the social issues they care about, enabling them to strengthen existing skills or develop brand new ones, you are creating a more balanced workplace and investing in your employees’ success. You are also investing in your company’s future. At Strategy and Management, Inc. (SAMS), we believe in empowering our employees to have meaningful impact through hands-on service programs, fundraising and charitable giving. That’s why we created SAMS Cares, the charitable sector of our organization. To learn more about SAMS Cares or about the range of Back Office Support and Building Services we offer, contact us today.

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