AC&M Group volunteering

Volunteer time off good for business

The concept of volunteer time off (VTO) has been brought to the fore in recent years with the explosion of millennials in the workforce. These young professionals, born between 1981 and 1997, have changed the business landscape as employers learn how to attract the best and brightest. Motivational factors and millennials are a great case study in good business practice, but they’re not the only ones to consider. In fact, employees of all ages can benefit from VTO, which in turn can positively affect your company’s bottom line. If you don’t have a VTO policy, here are some reasons why you should consider it:

  1. Passion begets passion – An employee who has a passion outside of work with their favorite charity can bring the same passion to the boardroom. By paying attention to outside interests, employers can discover what motivates employees and uncover hidden talents. A strong VTO policy can help attract the right people to your team. Intelligence and work ethic are just part of the puzzle; the remaining piece is passion!
  2. Recharge and reenergize – We’ve all been in meetings where our eyes glaze over as we find ourselves daydreaming about being anywhere but in the office. Numerous studies throughout the past decade have shown that people derive more happiness from experiences than from material things. VTO allows employees to create valuable volunteer experiences that can provide a renewed outlook.
  3. Millennials love it – As baby boomers continue to retire and generation X’ers come into positions of leadership, millennials will take the reigns as the employees on the front lines. In some industries, such as advertising and public relations, burn out can skew young. A millennial’s decision to work a company is just as much tied to salary and benefits as it is to a positive company mission and a culture of altruism.
  4. Stand for something – Corporate America can be “dog eat dog” as people rush to achieve their next milestone or get a promotion. It’s up to us all to encourage greatness by standing for something, standing for a cause. Whether it’s a company sponsored volunteer activity or something on an individual level, doing good in the community is what connects us all and makes us better people. Better people make better decisions both in and out of the office.

VTO should not be seen as a reward for employees, but part and parcel to company culture. Happy people make happy employees. Actress Gillian Anderson put it best when she said, “Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.” By developing your own VTO policy, you can help empower your employees to reach their personal and professional goals.

Pictured above from L-R are AC&M employees Ricky Velez, Brian Cockman, Steven Marques, Erika Rasile, and Walker Corl as they send me off on my volunteer trip to South Africa to work with orphans living with HIV. Thank you AC&M for all the support! 

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Brian Cockman