Volunteer Time Off
What is Volunteer Time Off?
Volunteer time off is a paid leave granted as a benefit to the employees to do community service or volunteer work. The employees can sign up with a nonprofit organization, volunteer at an event, work at a charity, or any other community organization. This also helps the company in fulfilling its corporate social responsibility and contribute to the community apart from donations.
How to create Volunteer Time Off Policy
Since Volunteer time off is granted as a paid leave, organizations must make sure that the volunteer activities are in line with its strategy. To create a volunteer time off policy:
1. Set an eligibility criterion
Choose whether only full-time or part-time employees are eligible for this policy.
2. Define the number hours or days allowed
Decide how many hours or days the company is going to allow time for volunteering. This should be properly aligned with the business strategy. Consider communicating with the employees regarding when they can opt for volunteer time off.
3. Make a list of community organizations to volunteer in
Most companies prepare a list of nonprofit or community organizations to form a personal relationship with community service organizations. This also makes sure that employees are not opting for profit organizations.
4. Establish an approval process
Set an approval chain as to who will be approving the time off requests to make sure the workload is being distributed effectively.
5. Track the VTO taken by the employees
Leave taken by the employees must be tracked to avoid any mistakes in payment calculations. The company must choose how it’s going to track its time-off requests before moving ahead with implementation of the volunteer time off policy.
Importance of Volunteer Time Off (VTO)
Volunteer time off allows employees to take a break from their work routines and create a positive change in the community. This makes them more motivated, engaged, and productive. Even for the business, including volunteer time off in their paid time off policy can increase their reputation in the community. Apart from these, VTO is also important as it:
1) Improves the relationship with the community
Employees are filled with a sense of pride when they believe they are working for a purpose. When the organization’s objectives match with the employees’, they take a more positive approach to their work and develop an enthusiastic attitude. Both the company and employees will be able to form a positive relationship with the community.
2) Enhances brand reputation
When a business fulfills its corporate social responsibility and makes consistent contributions to the community, more and more people will be attracted to the business as it takes on the role of a socially responsible employer.
3) Increases employee engagement and retention
Employees who are given the opportunity to volunteer for the community and nonprofit organizations trust that the company shares the same values. This, in turn, increases their overall attitude and productivity. Employees these days are more attracted to making a difference rather than just following their boring work routine. So, when they can create a positive difference in the community, they are more likely to stay at the organization longer.
4) Better overall health
Making a difference in the community will help the employees to feed good about their contributions. Their mood gradually improves along with reduced stress. Hence, volunteering improves both mental and physical health.