Why Employee Volunteer Recognition is Important
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) field talks about employee volunteer recognition as either “employee recognition” or “volunteer recognition.” In terms of thought leadership on how companies are recognizing employee volunteers, we rarely see these two topics married. And that’s because they are treated like two different worlds – when they’re not.
Employee volunteer programs are becoming a normal and expected part of CSR programming at Fortune 500 companies in North America. Corporate volunteering is truly beginning to blossom in other parts of the world – Europe, Latin America, the UAE, South East Asia, India (to name a few). But is it always seen as an important part of CSR programming? Ask yourself: how important is your employee volunteering program in the grand scheme of your overall CSR programming? Are you elevating and supporting employees’ full potential – their passion for social good – by providing leadership opportunities through volunteerism? Is it part of new hire onboarding? Do managers support it? Is there appropriate budget behind it? Is it talked about at company-wide meetings and town halls?
Recognition and appreciation are closely tied to how important employees feel, and how companies demonstrate appreciation for their work. Employee volunteerism is hard work, and employees do it on top of their day-to-day work responsibilities, expectations from family and friends, and often by sacrificing social time. The thing is, if the employee volunteer program is perceived as important, it goes a long way to making the employee feel important. Employee volunteering can have far-reaching individual, workplace, and community impact. It can do a lot. But, it’s also asking a lot. So, it’s important that companies see this, and recognize it appropriately. The big question is – how?