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By Jaidyn Crookston | October 04, 2022 | 10 Minute Read

The Benefits of Employee Volunteerism

Bank employees volunteering in the community

You’ve probably heard that you should encourage your institution’s employees to volunteer. But just because you know you should encourage employees to volunteer doesn't mean you know why. Or how. And with how difficult these programs can be to track, organizing an employee volunteer program can be a real hassle. 


There are many ways to encourage your employees to volunteer, including:


  • Company-wide volunteer days

  • Paid Volunteer Time Off

  • Volunteer awards programs

  • Prizes and incentives 


But why should you encourage employees to volunteer? As a business, your institution needs to focus on things that will bring clear benefits, not just the things that will “make employees feel good.”


While sometimes it’s hard to see right off the bat, employee volunteer programs do bring plenty of benefits, both for your institution and for the employees themselves. In fact, having a solid employee volunteer program and correctly tracking it should be a priority for your bank or credit union. With so many benefits, it’s hard to argue the other side. Let’s find out what those benefits are. 


How your institution benefits from employee volunteers


Brand awareness


Brand awareness may be difficult to quantify, but it’s still an important consideration. The more people who know about your institution, the more customers/members you may someday have. So exposing people to your brand is critical.


When employees volunteer in the community, your institution gets this exposure for free. This is especially true when you hold a company-wide volunteer day and ask employees to wear T-shirts with your institution’s name and logo. Now community members see your employees serving them and know exactly who to thank—your institution. Go brand awareness! 


Employee satisfaction


You want your employees to be happy at work, right? Of course you do. Employee job satisfaction leads to happier and healthier employees, less employee turnover, and increased productivity. 


According to a recent study, 77% of employees believe that volunteerism is essential to their well-being at work. And 89% think that company-sponsored volunteer activities create a better working environment. 


This means that if you want your employees to be happy at work, encourage them to volunteer. And don’t forget to provide them opportunities to do so. In fact, the more choices an employee has about when and where to volunteer, the more likely they are to enjoy doing so and continue this effort in the future. And that means the happier they’ll be. 



Stronger CRA program


If you’re a CRA Officer, you know how important it is to serve your community in ways that will earn CRA credit for your institution. If you don’t know what the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is, then you may not need to worry about it (here’s a hint: every bank in the USA is examined under the CRA, while most credit unions are not.) 


If your institution does have to follow the CRA, then employee volunteerism may be an important part of your CRA exam. The caveat here is that however your employees serve the community must typically be in some way relate to their professional expertise or relate to financial literacy.


For example, your institution might earn CRA credit by sending employees to teach financial literacy classes at the local high school. Or a bank marketer might help a nonprofit build a marketing strategy or write some advertisements. Since financial literacy/marketing relates to their professional expertise, you can submit these hours and hope your examiner agrees.  


You shouldn’t base your entire volunteer program on your desire to earn CRA credit, though. Chances are that most of the volunteer work your employees do in the community won’t be eligible for CRA credit, since stacking boxes, building homes, and doing yard work is difficult to relate to your employees’ expertise. So having this as your goal is bound to disappoint. But seeking out some CRA volunteer hours each year is a good way to boost both your CRA program and your employee volunteerism. 


Check out how these institutions earned CRA credit through their volunteer efforts:



Institution growth


You work hard to attract potential customers/members. But growing your institution can be so difficult. So next time you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to promote your institution, try organizing an employee volunteer day or otherwise encouraging them to volunteer. 


When employees volunteer in the community—whether as part of an organized event or on their own—your institution is bound to get some brownie points. That’s because community members love to see people serving their community, and when your institution’s employees do so, it reflects well on their place of work, your institution. 


Hopefully this brings new customers/members and helps your institution grow for years to come. 


Stronger teams


Teams that volunteer together work well together. Or at least that’s what may happen in your institution.


If your institution organizes company- or department-wide volunteer events, your employees will have a chance to participate in this worthwhile activity together. This creates a sense of teamwork and camaraderie that is difficult to reproduce in the day-to-day tasks they are usually a part of. These volunteer activities will allow employees to bond and create lasting partnerships. These partnerships should come across in the workplace as they continue to promote and serve your institution. 


This process might build stronger teams throughout your institution and lead to more productive employees and a better work environment. Who doesn’t want that? 



How volunteering benefits your employees


Getting out in the community


The more time your employees spend in their community, the better they’ll be able to serve community members and address any issues they may see. This gives your institution a powerful advantage because you can work with employees to address problems and have the biggest impact possible. 


And this benefits employees because they’ll be able to meet people, learn about their community, and serve others—all of which brings feelings of empowerment and satisfaction.  




Having happy employees isn’t just good for your institution, but is also good for your employees themselves (duh). 


A study by the University of Oxford found that workers are 13% more productive when happy with their jobs. Productivity will benefit your employees and your institution in many ways, including less time spent on projects, less time wasted throughout the day, and more time spent fostering relationships in your community. We could all do with a little less time spent on tasks, and encouraging employees to volunteer may be one way to accomplish this. 


Sense of purpose


Volunteerism gives people a sense of purpose. In fact, a study done by Project Helping concluded that 96% of volunteers say that volunteering has enriched their sense of purpose and their lives. 


The stronger an employees’ sense of purpose at work, the more likely they are to remain with that employer and the better they’ll do on their tasks. And keeping employees for a long time should be another top priority for your institution. You’ll save on turnover costs and be able to better build your culture and engage long-time employees. That sense of purpose is really powerful stuff! 


Chance to support a cause they love


Your employees work hard to support and grow your institution, but imagine how they would feel if they had the opportunity to support and grow a nonprofit or community organization they care about. (Not to mention if they were rewarded for volunteering.) Probably pretty pumped. 


Volunteering is a way for employees to do good and give back to the charities they love and support. This is especially true when you give employees paid time to volunteer with the organization of their choice or when you provide incentives for volunteering in the form of a donation given by your institution. 


Asking for employee feedback when deciding what nonprofits to partner with is another way to engage your employees and give them a chance to support a cause they love. This, in turn, will help your institution because employees will feel grateful and will know that you’re listening to them. 



Kadince makes it easier for employees to volunteer


At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that tracking your employees’ volunteer hours can be difficult. Spreadsheets, binders, clunky software. You name it, plenty of banks and credit unions do it. 


And even if your system works pretty well, chances are you’re relying on each employee to submit their volunteer hours. But getting them to submit these hours can feel like a never-ending dispute. 


All of this changes when you use Kadince to track and manage your employees’ volunteer hours. 


Not only does Kadince let you see each employee’s hours at a glance, but it automatically tracks these hours after an event is completed. And when employees do need to submit their own hours, Kadince submission forms make this process as painless as possible. This is bound to lead to more volunteer hours and happier employees. 


With Kadince, even planning those company-wide volunteer events and letting employees know about volunteer opportunities is a breeze. In fact, Univest Financial in Pennsylvania uses Kadince to plan, track, and manage all bank events, volunteer and otherwise (see how they do it in this article). 


To learn more about how Kadince makes it easier for employees to volunteer and how you can track and manage all employee volunteer hours, schedule a demo.

None of Kadince, Inc., its affiliates, or its respective employees, directors, officers, and agents (collectively, “Kadince”) are responsible or liable for any content or information incorporated herein. Read full disclosure.

Jaidyn Crookston | Content Manager, Kadince

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