Three Ways Employee Volunteering Develop Leaders

Nov 29, 2021 2:45 PM ET

Does your employee volunteer and giving program deliberately design opportunities for participants to become better leaders? If you’re not sure, there’s probably room to improve. Your program can and should be the program that managers offer to employees who are ready to level-up, learn more, and lead better. Your program can and should be the program that produces the greatest leaders at your company. So, what makes the best leaders? And how does employee volunteering fit?

Think about your company’s volunteer leaders – your Champions or Ambassadors. Do they understand the vision of the program? Do they know how it aligns with the purpose of the business? If not, they’re starting at a deficit. Provide a clear and aligned rally cry and bring in leaders, speakers, and teachers to demonstrate what it looks like to cast the vision.

Do your volunteer leaders understand that not all volunteers are the same? Do they know what to do when some people say they’ll show up and never do, when others act overly enthusiastic, and others participate on a regular basis but never stop complaining? Teach your volunteer leaders the stages of the volunteer journey, how to recognize where people are, and how to meet each participant at their highest level of contribution. Provide tools and templates that will allow them to practice and integrate this skill into their leadership style. And most importantly – show your leaders what it looks like to practice these skills during volunteer activities. As employees participate in volunteering and giving programs, volunteer leaders practice their skills by observing participants and guiding their growth.

Read the full blog here.