In recent years, skills-based volunteering has become popular for businesses to give back to their communities while improving their employees’ skill sets. However, as with any initiative, some challenges come with implementing a skills-based volunteering program.
In this blog post, we will explore five common skills-based volunteering problems and solutions for businesses.
One of the biggest challenges businesses face when implementing a skills-based volunteering program is identifying their employees’ skills that would be useful to the community. This can be especially difficult for companies with diverse workforces, as not all employees may possess skills that match the needs of local non-profits.
To overcome this problem, businesses can assess their employees’ skills to identify their unique skills and strengths. This information can help match employees with appropriate non-profit organizations that require their skill set. According to a study by Deloitte, 83% of companies that conduct skills assessments for their employees find that it helps them better identify their employees’ strengths and weaknesses.
Finding the right non-profit organizations aligning with the business’s values and goals can also be challenging. Companies need to ensure that the non-profit organization they choose to partner with is reputable and will use the skills of their employees’ skills most effectively.
According to a Stanford Social Innovation Review study, companies that engage in thorough due diligence before partnering with non-profit organizations are more likely to have successful partnerships.
To find the right non-profit organization, businesses should conduct thorough research and due diligence. This includes reviewing the organization’s mission statement, financial statements, and track record of success. Additionally, companies can seek recommendations from their network or industry associations.
Many businesses need help managing their employees’ time and resources when implementing a skills-based volunteer program. Finding the right balance between work and volunteering can be challenging, and employees may feel overworked and underappreciated.
Businesses can overcome this problem by implementing a flexible volunteer policy. This policy should outline volunteering guidelines and allow employees to choose the timing and duration of their volunteering commitments. According to the 2008/2009 study Driving Business Results Through Continuous Engagement by WorkUSA, companies implementing a flexible volunteer policy experience 26% higher revenue per employee, 13% higher total returns to shareholders, and a 50% higher market premium.
Sometimes, businesses struggle to encourage employee participation in skills-based volunteering programs. Some employees may feel uncomfortable volunteering, while others may need to learn about the program’s benefits.
Increasing awareness of the program and its benefits can encourage employee participation. Companies can do awareness through internal communication channels, such as company newsletters and social media. Recognizing and rewarding employees who participate in the program can also increase participation rates. According to a study by VolunteerMatch, companies that recognize employee volunteering efforts see increased employee engagement and loyalty.
Measuring the impact of a skills-based volunteering program can be difficult. Businesses must ensure that the program makes a tangible difference in the community and that employees develop new skills.
To measure the impact of a skills-based volunteering program, businesses should set measurable goals and track progress over time. This can involve collecting feedback from non-profit organizations and employees and monitoring the program’s community impact. According to a study by Realized Worth, companies that set measurable goals for their volunteering programs see higher employee engagement and satisfaction levels.
Implementing a skills-based volunteering program can be a win-win for businesses and non-profit organizations, but it comes with challenges. These different solutions will help businesses overcome these significant challenges and positively impact their community.
If you’re a business looking to implement a skills-based volunteering program, start by conducting a skills assessment of your employees and researching non-profit organizations in your community. Remember to implement a flexible volunteer policy and increase program awareness to encourage employee participation. Finally, set measurable goals to track progress and ensure that the program impacts positively.