This is one of the most common challenges our clients face before working with us at Porpoise. HR and program managers often tell us that they aren’t seeing high enough participation rates within their volunteer initiatives. We have a few reasons why their programs might not be working, and we even have a solution!
Levels of participation in any program are naturally going to be low if the level of awareness of the program is equally low. Advertise and raise awareness about the program. Also, some team members may feel that they don’t actually have permission to use these volunteer days, because no one else is using them. Top-down permission coming from a C-level executive can go a long way in boosting participation.
Stress to your people why you have a volunteering program in place. What do employees get out of it, and how does it benefit the organization? Explain to your employees that it is an opportunity for them to support a cause that they are passionate about while building and improving their skillset. People are much more likely to do something if they understand why. If they feel there is a mutual understanding of the value they are creating for the organization, they will be more likely to participate in the program.
Understand their Constraints
Employees are under pressure to meet deadlines and targets and may feel that they will fall behind or miss opportunities if they volunteer on company time. For this reason, employees may wish to volunteer on their own time. This is equally as valuable to the organization, and should be recognized. You can also provide support to your employees by reducing their workloads, allowing flextime, and setting attainable goals. Employees who receive this kind of support report 35 more hours of volunteer time than those who do not. In 2013 there were 8,382,000 volunteers who were employed part or full time. 4,610,100 (55%) of these volunteers received some form of employee support.
Lack of Recognition
For some employees, participation is low because they feel they won’t be recognized for their volunteer efforts. Recognition and positive feedback leads to increased engagement and participation.
For every employee that participates in your corporate volunteering program, greater than $2400 of value is generated for the organization. We created Porpoise as a solution to each of the common barriers to participation. Porpoise increases awareness and engagement by acting as a platform to encourage volunteer efforts. By implementing Porpoise, you will be monitoring, tracking, and rewarding your employee’s contributions outside of the workplace.