Volunteering Builds Leadership Skills and Corporate Culture
One of the greatest ways to practice and develop leadership skills is by volunteering. Many organizations need volunteer leaders on their board of directors and committees, not to mention foot soldiers.
In addition to learning and fine-tuning leadership skills, another huge advantage of volunteerism is having the freedom to pick and choose organizations based on personal interests and passions. It can be beneficial to get outside of your work “bubble” and into something new and exciting that can also build beneficial relationships.
Volunteering is a wonderful resume builder. Let’s say you have two job candidates who are neck-and-neck for the position, but only one sits on the board of a non-profit. Could that be the deciding factor between the two applicants? For many CEOs the answer is yes.
Unfortunately, volunteering is on the decline. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the volunteer rate in 2013 was the lowest it has been since the “volunteer supplement” was first administered in 2002. The 2013 report also states that women volunteer at a higher rate than men across all age groups, educational levels, and other major demographic characteristics.
Is community involvement a core value of your organization? How about leadership development? You can leverage leadership development and community support efforts by encouraging your employees to volunteer their time to outside organizations. What if you implemented a monthly award for the employee who demonstrates their leadership abilities through volunteerism?
A new trend popping up is companies who give paid time off to their employees who volunteer – which has proved to be a great retention and engagement tool. This shows a solid commitment to employee and community well-being.
How do you encourage employees to volunteer and get involved in your community? Please share what has worked for you!