Why Your Startup Should Embrace Employee Volunteer Programs

This post originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.

We can all relate to this feeling: We’ve just returned from a full day of volunteering in our community and we’re tired — but we feel great. 

Volunteering has been linked with promoting good health, both mentally and physically. But did you know that volunteering is a healthy business practice, too? 

“Over the past couple of decades volunteerism has taken on a stronger role in terms of what it means for businesses and what employees are demanding,” says Christy Reeves, vice president of regional government relations and community affairs at Ochsner Health System, who is a lifelong volunteer and team leader. “People are moving towards companies to help fill the gaps that the government or nonprofit sectors don’t meet.”

As you build your startup’s company culture, consider the three main benefits to adding an employee volunteer program that goes beyond community service.

Gain an Edge in Recruiting, Retention and Brand Awareness

In a tight job market, candidates are more selective about where they work. Younger candidates also tend to prefer to work for companies that serve a broader social mission. In fact, 64% of millennial candidates won’t move forward with a job unless the company has strong values supporting corporate social responsibility. 

“The new generation of employees are looking for companies that lend their brand or resources to solving a problem,” Reeves explains. So offering volunteer opportunities is an excellent way to attract, retain and empower employees while giving back to your community. 

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