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Profits no longer are the only metric by which we measure a company’s success. More and more current and potential employees, customers and other stakeholders are giving increasing preference to companies that demonstrate a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR). The purpose of CRS is for organizations to proactively work to improve their communities while also maximizing profits. In addition to minimizing environmental impact an organization can enhance its community impact and reputation by encouraging the company and employees to volunteer and donate to charity. Doing so can bring a variety of benefits to your organization.

Increased employee satisfaction

Employees today want more than a paycheck and good benefits. They also want to feel like the work they are doing is making a difference. Even if your business doesn’t have a direct impact on the community, you can still fulfill your employees’ sense of purpose by encouraging and fostering volunteer opportunities. Consider partnering with a charity or non-profit organization and encourage employees to help out, or even offer paid volunteer days for employees. Volunteering increases employee happiness and community engagement.

Increased retention

There are many reasons team members might leave a job; some of the reasons are out of your control. However, since many employees are looking to positively impact their community, providing them with the opportunity to volunteer gives them a reason to stay. Not only that, but it may help resolve some of the morale issues that cause employees to want to leave in the first place, such as not feeling like they have friendships with co-workers or a relationship with the boss. Volunteering can be effective at keeping morale high — and employees engaged in their work.

Smarter employees

Volunteering is not a one-way street. When you volunteer, you often learn important skills and lessons to bring back to your job. Providing employees with opportunities to volunteer won’t just make them happier or keep them in your company longer; it will also make them better — and smarter. They will come back from their volunteer days recharged and reinvigorated, armed with knowledge and camaraderie they didn’t have before.

CSR and specifically volunteering is important to the success of your organization. And while it’s often difficult to get mid-level managers engaged and employees involved, it certainly is worth your time and commitment to create an environment that endorses and supports volunteerism throughout the entire organization.