One of the Best Benefits for Your Employees: Volunteer Time

Blog written by Junior Achievement North, a Greater Mankato Growth member.

Why Offer Time Off for Employees to Volunteer?

In recent years, employers have begun using creative ways to increase their benefits package to their employees to create a happier, healthier, and more devoted workforce.

One of those creative benefits is volunteer time off. Volunteer time off, shortened as VTO, is a benefit where employees receive paid time off to volunteer. This has proved to be a work-life balancing benefit that improves wellbeing, morale, and productivity, and is a low-cost offering for the employer. This benefit has grown in popularity in recent years, with SHRM reporting that 1 in every 4 organizations offers VTO.

Giving your employees time off to volunteer says to them, “We support our employees using their time to make a difference both in and outside of the workplace.” With volunteer time off, your employee who loves animals finally has the time to be a dog walker for the local animal shelter. Another parent employee can be a chaperone for their child’s school field trip. Other employees may form a group to volunteer at a nonprofit which inadvertently doubles as a self-coordinated team-building exercise. Ultimately, you’ll attract hires who want to work for a purpose-driven organization that embraces external engagement.

In a 2019 article by Forbes, businesses that participate in “giving back” report customers with greater brand loyalty and attract new buyers through improved brand enhancement. In short, VTO could mean happier workers and customers. It’s a win-win!

Volunteering is a Networking Opportunity in disguise

Employees volunteering in the community become representatives of the business. Volunteers tell each other where they work, and what their role at the company is, and they’re meeting other business volunteers who are doing the same thing. This not only gets your business’s name out amongst the community, but improves your company’s reputation and branding.

Having your business incorporated with local organizations where your employees volunteer can lead to meaningful partnerships with that organization, other volunteers of other employers, and overall greater visibility.

Service Organizations Rely on VTO

Many nonprofit or service-driven organizations rely on the availability of volunteers.

Junior Achievement North is a nonprofit organization that relies on its volunteers and VTO policies provided by employers. It takes hundreds of volunteers from the Greater Mankato area to implement Junior Achievement programming in our local schools each year. We couldn’t do this important work without volunteers from across our community.

At Junior Achievement North, we prepare young people with the skillset and mindset to build thriving communities. We recognize that addressing the skills gap is a critical step towards creating a better future, as many graduating students lack basic skills such as communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Through experiential learning opportunities, we provide K-12 students build personal finance knowledge, cultivate entrepreneurial skills, and help explore new career paths. This is only possible with the support of local volunteers who believe in investing in the next generation of leaders.

Visit Junior Achievement North’s website to learn more about how your business can get involved in Junior Achievement’s K-12 career readiness education. Our opportunities are flexible and rewarding, so connect with us, and we’ll help you discover the best option for you or your company.