Improving Employee Engagement Through Community Outreach Programs

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Employee engagement levels are declining across the globe, and organizations are increasingly concerned about the uncertainty that comes with lack of motivation amongst the labor force. But one reliable solution for businesses when it comes to improving employee engagement is having well-planned and run community outreach programs.

A recent employee engagement research study showed that up to 24% of employees feel disconnected when it comes to matters concerning social responsibility. Having an integrated corporate volunteer program can be the key to driving innovation, creativity and engagement among employees.

How can you improve employee engagement through community outreach programs?

Tailor Community Outreach Programs for Your Business

Engaging in local volunteering, community outreach and social responsibility programs sets the precedent that your business is all about social good. Having a company-wide approach to community outreach provides your business with an opportunity to bring together and connect employees across all departments and professional levels.

According to Jenny Van Gelder, Co-Founder of Executive Auto Shippers, “Every community has a need and every employee has a passion, and our goal is to bring those needs and passions together in an effort to make our community stronger.” Tailoring community outreach programs to your business and employee passions is key to improving engagement across the organization.

Structure Community Programs Around Departments

One of the keys to enhancing internal cooperation is coordinating events and programs for specific business departments. This encourages creative problem-solving among department employees so they can identify and make sense of the social responsibility challenges that they need to solve. Community outreach programs that are structured around departments are able to enjoy a more agile and flexible strategy.

Employees are able to engage in insightful discussions and explore volunteering trends and themes in corporate giving. The interactive and productive team-based experiences of engaging in department-driven community outreach and volunteering programs play a huge role in improving overall employee participation and ultimately, better engagement.

Encourage Employees to Take Charge

Corporate outreach is no longer about brand social responsibility. Businesses need to look more at how they can customize volunteering around individual employees. Sometimes the greatest contribution your organization can offer is through highly-specialized individual services. In order to offer the highest level of community support, businesses must combine both corporate driven and individual volunteering efforts in order to amplify employee engagement.

It’s advisable to encourage employees in every department to take on individual community social projects with relevant nonprofit partners that they are passionate about. Since every employee knows your community outreach goals, they can easily contribute their skills to nonprofits that request their help. A strong social support network is pivotal to the engagement and success of any organization.

Make Community Giving Mobile

All your employees communicate via mobile and social media. So your corporate outreach program needs to be there with them. Apart from taking part in community giving and volunteering drives, you should also provide your employees and clients with a highly-interactive, mobile and social platform where they can create individual profiles and invite colleagues and external networks to contribute to giving campaigns.

Being able to organize community outreach opportunities from the office and giving real-time feedback for volunteer opportunities is a big plus for your business. It not only makes giving exciting but also more engaging for all participants. Employee engagement is impacted, one way or another when you bring together a single cause under one integrated platform.

Tell Your Story

While most businesses rely on impact reports to gauge their community outreach efforts every end of the year, taking a more proactive approach to storytelling is more impactful among employees. Who did you help? How did you make a difference? Allowing your employees to answer such questions and sharing these stories and messages will encourage volunteer participation and employee engagement.

A recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management notes that 99% of HR managers across the world anticipate that employee engagement will continue to be a key strategic challenge, but embracing some of these steps can help businesses improve employee engagement levels.

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