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Does Your Company Offer Volunteer Time Off?

March 31, 2023

By Linda Olejniczak, courtesy of SBAM-approved partner, ASE

Are your employees passionate about a cause or do they want to volunteer at their kids’ reading day for an hour? Then it’s time you look at offering VTO – Volunteer Time Off. It is proven to improve employee engagement and productivity. It is also great for your brand.

VTO is a form of paid time-off where employees volunteer in the community while receiving their usual salary. Organizations can offer voluntary services to partnering nonprofits or allow employees to select organizations for themselves or volunteer at their kid’s school or other community organizations they are involved with.

Volunteer time off offers a win-win scenario for all parties involved – businesses, employees, and the community.

Here are some reasons to implement VTO into your corporate volunteerism efforts:

Attract and retain top talents.

Implementing a VTO policy and aligning it with the values of your employees can make them feel more fulfilled. This can go a long way in reducing turnover rates and attracting new talents to your organization.

Increase brand awareness.

A good brand image also helps to differentiate your organization from competitors. This is a prerequisite for attracting top candidates who align with socially conscious employees who can help take your company to the next level.

Volunteerism teaches employees new skills.

Volunteer work allows employees to learn and hone new skills that can prove valuable in the workplace. Paid volunteer time off allows workers to cultivate better collaboration, accountability, communication, empathy, and leadership skills.

Improve employees’ health and wellbeing.

Volunteering makes you feel good. When employees are in good health, they feel less burnout, record low absenteeism, and become more productive at work.

Successful implementation of a volunteer time off program requires planning and patience. When planning your VTO program, you need to think through a few details:

  • How many hours of volunteering are offered?
  • Who is eligible?
  • What are the criteria for choosing organizations to work for?
  • What is the VTO request process?
  • How do you determine if VTO has been used properly?

Be open to questions and suggestions and make edits where necessary to ensure it benefits all the parties involved.

VTO requires a budget separate from PTO, so you need to organize your finances accordingly. Also, you need to adopt the requisite tools to help employees schedule VTO, confirm approval status, review balance, and perform other relevant tasks.

Volunteer time off programs are becoming an indispensable tool for improving employee engagement, retention, and overall productivity in the workplace.

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