For the more cynical of you – corporate charity days are just a way to put a tick in the CSR checkbox. The less cynical recognise the benefits to team morale and how genuinely helping charities with worthwhile causes can be personally rewarding.
Volunteering – particularly in teams – can give you and your co-workers a motivational boost. You must work together for the day towards a common goal, often utilising new skills outside of your usual day-to-day remit. Junior employees can be given the chance to take on a leadership role and without the pressures of office deadlines, you might uncover some hidden talents from quieter colleagues.
The recruitment process and company culture
Recruitment processes are always evolving; the way businesses attract top talent in a candidate driven market is becoming more centred around ‘softer’ benefits. Hiring managers are increasingly asked what corporate social responsibility activities they take part in and how their candidate’s values will align with the company’s. GAYE (give as you earn) schemes are considered an employee benefit that every employer should offer.
The feel good factor
Here are just a few of the ways that corporate charity days can provide you and your team with ‘the feel good factor’:
- Time away from your desks/the office can clear your heads and help you refocus when you return to work
- When you’re volunteering, there is no office pecking order – you’re all on the same level
- The lack of pecking order can enable you to learn things about yourself, and your team, that you didn’t know existed. The change in environment and type of work can allow previously undiscovered strengths and skills to shine through.
- You can network with colleagues you wouldn’t usually get to spend time with and engage with people outside of your immediate team
- It’s true what they say, helping others helps yourself – “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
As well as making you feel good about yourself and the charity work you and your colleagues carry out, corporate charity days can re-engage you with your organisation. It will give your brand some additional positive perception and you might take more pride in working there. You might find you are more likely to want to stay at a company that takes its corporate social responsibility seriously and if everyone else feels the same, you’re bound to be a happier workforce together.
If corporate responsibility is something you feel strongly about and your current organisation doesn’t take part in any ‘giving back’ activities, nominate yourself as the office charity champion and lead the way by organising fundraising activities. Many organisations will partner with a charity so be sure to check who your partner is first and align any fundraising events with their proposition.
Volunteering is just one of the ways to boost your motivation at work and your engagement with your company. Read more on being happy at work with further advice from Michael Page.