In an era where both employees and consumers are giving more weight than ever to a company’s mission and ethics, corporate social responsibility has become a staple of modern company culture. Between paid “VTO” or volunteer time off, team volunteer days, and company-wide fundraisers, employees have come to expect a level of support for their charitable initiatives.
At Namely’s recent summer celebration, cross-functional groups of employees from each office spent time volunteering at various organizations in their respective communities. With over 100 employees participating, employees from coast to coast united around one of our core company values: Namely Cares.
To learn why employees value corporate social responsibility, we spoke with six team members at Namely who participated as volunteers. Here’s why they think companies should support employee volunteerism:
1. Connect with Colleagues
“Volunteering is a great way for colleagues to get to know one another outside of the office through a shared experience. It also provides the chance to interact with people from other departments, making it easier and more comfortable to collaborate across teams when you need to.
It was incredible to speak with the Community First! resident who led our group. He had clearly had a rough life, but shared how something as simple as tending the garden could help improve the livelihood of everyone in their community."
- Erin Fiebrich, Benefits Analyst, Austin, TX
2. Live Company Values
“Volunteerism displays a company's true values and the values of the employees who work there. By giving back, we show that we are more than just a company––but also a bunch of individuals coming together to support an amazing cause and help those in need.
I helped plan the events for writing cards to hospitalized children, a canned food and book drive, and a meal-kit preparation session with God's Love We Deliver. For God's Love We Deliver, nine Namely employees (including myself) went onsite to assist with packaging meals for those suffering from HIV/AIDS, Cancer, and other severe illnesses and diseases.”
- Amanda Marshall, Client Success Consultant, NYC
3. Increase Employee Morale
“It's all about being human. It was so empowering to see the amount of lives that Namely touched and how much the team impacted all of our local communities.
Companies who support volunteerism have the most well-rounded employees. Giving back to the community, especially alongside friends and colleagues at work, boosts internal morale. The more a company encourages their employees to volunteer, the more office morale will increase, and the more employees will share with their friends, family, and coworkers.”
“I’m super passionate about volunteering, and I actually organized the event. During volunteer week, I led card-writing for hospitalized children. Ask an event lead, the highlight was seeing everyone take time out of their day to help. You could feel the passion from every person across every office, including Namely’s CFO who made cards with us!
As a company, we often get lost in the workload and forget about the realities of what other people struggle with in the larger world. Volunteering helps us keep our eyes and hearts open.”
- Olivia Small, Office Coordinator, NYC
5. Develop Employee Character
“Aside from the obvious benefits, like helping the community, social responsibility is also good for employee development. Volunteering builds teamwork and many other soft skills outside of our primary work responsibilities.
My team sorted various books by topic and age level to send to countries in Africa. We learned that Books for Africa ships over two million books each year and sometimes have to literally smuggle them into certain areas. It was eye-opening to see all of the knowledge and creativity in the books in the warehouse that we so often take for granted here.”
- Donte Blair, Client Success Consultant, Atlanta
6. Engage with the Community
“Company volunteerism gives us a chance to make our city a better place to live, get to know our community better, and give to those who are less fortunate.
My team assisted with harvesting gardens, laying pathways, building a compost shed, landscaping yards for micro-homes, and beautifying the property. After finishing our work, we were given a tour of the Community First! property and had the chance to get to know some of the residents. It really showed us how appreciated our help was.”
Rachel Bolsu is a Content Marketing Specialist at Namely, the HR, payroll, and benefits platform built for today's employees. Connect with Rachel and the Namely team on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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