Corporate Social Responsibility: Volunteering on Company Time
Within most companies, it’s not just the leaders of the organization who support the local community, but the employees as well. And Randstad Canada, the country’s leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services recommends employers, large and small, strengthen their corporate social responsibility initiatives by encouraging employees to give back – on the company’s time.
Stacy Parker, EVP of marketing for Randstad Canada says time scarcity is a significant barrier to volunteering. “Finding time to devote to volunteering can be a difficult task. While many employed Canadians do manage to find the time to volunteer, the fact is, many struggle to strike a balance between their work and private lives. As employees assume more responsibilities in both their work and family spheres (such as child care, elder care, single parenting, or working longer hours), employers should do their part to encourage their employees to volunteer during working hours,” she says.
According to a recently released Statistics Canada study entitled Employer Support of Volunteering, in 2010, 57% of employees in Canada who did volunteer work reported that they had received one or more formal means of support to do so from their employer.
The study also found that employer support varied by region. In Ontario, 62% of volunteers with jobs had formal employer support, compared with 54% in British Columbia, 51% in Quebec, 50% in Manitoba and 49% in the Northwest Territories.
Additionally, the Statistics Canada data concluded that certain types of employer support were more common than others. About 34% of volunteers who worked said their employers helped by approving changes to their work hours or reducing their work activities, the most common type of support.
“Quite simply, companies should care about CSR because their employees do,” says Parker. “. It is important for companies to be socially responsible. Numerous studies indicate that a company’s CSR policies increasingly factor into a job-seeker’s decision to work there. For example, a recent survey conducted by ICMA International found that a company’s commitment to the community does factor into how attractive a company is viewed by jobseekers,” she says.
According to Parker, the difficulty that comes with balancing the desire to volunteer with busy work and personal lives is precisely why volunteer opportunities during work hours are the ideal solution for both businesses and employees. “At Randstad Canada for example, employees are given a number of hours during the work day to volunteer for organizations the employee supports.”
We recognize that there are many benefits to giving staff time off to volunteer, says Parker. “First, there's the feel-good benefit. Employees feel good when they're involved in giving back. Then, there's the strategic benefit. Volunteering serves as an opportunity for leadership development, gaining experience and building business relationships. People want to work with companies that are good corporate citizens,” she adds.
Parker emphasizes that strong CSR also helps organizations with recruiting and retention. “When people are engaged and happy, they don't leave. Allowing volunteering leave can make your company an attractive place to work and allow you to attract and retain the quality talent that will drive your organization forward.”
For further information contact:
Dayana Fraser 416.962.9578 x2317
Marie-Noelle Morency 514.350.5309 x233