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Employee volunteer programs increase employee engagement

CGA1112-2013Research shows that volunteer projects taken on by groups of employees encourage teamwork, improve communication, promote leadership and other skill development, enhance employee loyalty and retention, increase job satisfaction and morale, and even improve productivity and on-job-performance. With all these positive outcomes, you’d expect that companies and departments would be clamoring to sign up. Not so. And that’s usually either because managers have bought into several myths about why such projects won’t work, or because they don’t know how to make it happen.

In my latest article in CGA Magazine, I address the three most common myths that stall such initiatives AND offer three specific things that you can do as a leader to maximize the value potential inherent in a team volunteer project.

If They Give, You Will Get Back: The case for employee volunteer programs

Well, what is your experience? Are you currently participating in team volunteer projects supported by your employer? Is it worth it? Or do you have a contrary opinion? Please share by adding a Comment to this post.


  • In my experience management decides on a charitable activity outside of work hours and whether or not employees support the organization they are subtly pressured to attend. Employees want to separate work from personal time and choose their own volunteer interests. This unpaid time cuts into an individual’s non-work life and breeds resentment.

  • Good point Mary, I think the key factor here is that the volunteer activity should occur during paid time. While I didn’t explicitly spell it out in my article, both the examples I described occurred during normal employment hours. I agree that if employees are “pressured” into volunteer work during their personal time, then the team-building benefit will likely be lost. Thanks for being more specific.


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