Employees who volunteer through work are happier


A new survey has found that employee volunteering is the route to a happier and more engaged workforce.

The survey, carried out by an independent research company, found that employees who have volunteered with their company are 13 per cent happier than those who have not.
Employee volunteering brings a number of benefits to business leaders, including heading up a company with a positive culture; an openness to innovation; improved community relations; better customer engagement; a more responsible and sustainable business model long-term; and better commitment and engagement from employees.
Research has found that technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate, and whilst individuals are quick to adapt to ongoing innovations, organisations move at a slower pace. Volunteering is one way to create an environment that encourages employees’ strengths, as well as giving them time out of the workplace to focus on something they enjoy. The benefits of a happier workforce are backed up by research by other bodies, including the University of Warwick which found that being happy made employees 12 per cent more productive.
The survey also found that employees who volunteer are 15 per cent more likely to recommend the company they work for, helping to support brand building and peer-to-peer regard, whilst 15 per cent are more satisfied with their lives, contributing to a culture of forward thinking, innovation and a strongly cohesive team.
“Whilst the link between happiness and volunteering may not be a new one, businesses should be aware of the benefits and implications this has for their organisation, as well as for their employees and the essential but stretched community charities,” commented Nick Davies, founder of Neighbourly. “Employee volunteering is not just a CSR box-ticking exercise, but is crucial to creating a culture of innovation and a workforce of happier, engaged employees who feel valued by – and who in turn value – their employer.”
Carmel McQuaid, Head of Sustainable Business at client M&S said, “Our goal is to create a positive impact in society and improve peoples’ lives wherever we touch them. That’s why we encourage our employees to give up their knowledge, time, and energy to volunteer in the communities where we operate. We know from our own experience that the value of volunteering goes well beyond the impact of a single task, it actually improves employee wellbeing and happiness in the process.”