Tips on encouraging staff to get involved
Whether you have a small staff team or thousands of employees, your staff are more likely to get involved in your community engagement efforts if you have a well-thought out strategy and carefully planned campaign.
Consider some of the following:
Create a policy for allowing staff one volunteer day (or more) each year
Formalise your staff's community engagement by securing board approval for a company-wide policy. Communicating with managers about how this policy will be put into practice means there will be more buy-in when staff request authority to take their volunteer day. Become a member of Volunteering Auckland's EVP to ensure your company operates a well-run volunteering programme.
Involve senior leadership to validate efforts
If senior management support and are involved with staff volunteering in the community then it becomes part of the culture of the company. Encourage the CEO, board and senior leadership to volunteer on a team day and circulate the photographs as part of your internal and external comms. When resources are required to support your corporate volunteering and CSR programme, senior leaders will already be on board with the vision and impact.
Promote opportunities and team days through internal comms
Make it easy for staff at any level, at head office or off-site, to access information about arranging a volunteer day. Provide a Toolkit or 'How to' guide for volunteering with easy steps to follow. Ensure your Volunteering Auckland EVP links are up to date so staff can browse the current list of Opportunities and register their team's interest.
Post photos of teams volunteering to motivate other staff
Encourage teams to post their photos and circulate a story of a staff member to highlight the positive impacts of their team volunteer day using your intranet, newsletter and social media platforms. If your company is a member, Volunteering Auckland will also assist with this promotion using our website and social media to highlight stories.
Run a community day or campaign period to give a focus
Arranging a specific date for your community day (or joining your company's global initiative) and either closing the office or encouraging the majority of staff to attend ensures higher participation rates. If this is not possible, consider a campaign period of one month or several weeks with a snappy title to engage staff to volunteer over this period. Consider having t-shirts printed with your company logo for the staff volunteer days which looks great in photos.
Create a sense of competition between teams as a goal
Create a buzz between business units by seeing how many staff or teams have taken up their volunteer day. Set a goal of the number of staff volunteer hours for your campaign or year and have a company-wide running total on your intranet to motivate staff. Run a poll or survey on your intranet to see who has taken their volunteer day and be in to win a prize for all entrants.
Seek out community Champions to promote CSR efforts
Discover those who are passionate about volunteering and encourage each business unit to nominate someone to promote this in their area. Co-opt enthusiastic champions onto your CSR committee and visit team meetings to give volunteering a plug or run lunch-time talks on a non-profit's work.
Link volunteering with staff goals and leadership training
If you have a graduate or internship programme consider engaging a junior staff member to step up and arrange the team's volunteer day. Appointing a staff member as the liaison with Volunteering Auckland in running your company's EV Programme is a great learning experience. Providing leadership experience is one way of viewing your corporate volunteering and CSR programmes.