Want to build stronger teams and boost morale at work? Instead of scheduling a retreat or workshop, try organizing a group volunteering opportunity. One United Healthcare study found that nearly two in three employees who volunteer with their co-workers say doing so strengthens their work relationships.
Organizing a group volunteering effort at work requires a bit of legwork. Here are seven steps to make it happen.
1. Get leadership buy-in
The first step to creating a successful workplace community service event is ensuring the folks in charge support the effort. Then, as you present the idea, remind them that culture and employee engagement are essential factors in attracting and retaining the best talent. In addition, workplace volunteering increases productivity and work performance tasks in addition to improving hiring and retention, according to a 2021 report in Harvard Business Review.
2. Seek input
Before you begin your organizing efforts, think about the type of cause or initiative people in your organization will get excited about. What kind of effort will support your organization’s values and mission? For example, if you work for a tech company, your co-workers may be motivated to help young people pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. If your business is local, organizing a community event like a park or river clean-up could motivate people to join in.
3. Map out the steps
Organizing an event requires a variety of tasks ranging from securing a partner organization to ensuring there is space for volunteers to work or meet. So first, think about what will happen for the event to succeed and what help and resources you'll need. Then, create a main list of tasks and other needs—including a budget.
4. Recruit volunteers
You’ll need some help organizing the event, so ask others to volunteer and assign leadership roles for the various tasks. Be sure to outline the steps involved and provide deadlines for completion. Holding periodic meetings to connect about progress, troubleshoot issues, and help each other is also a good idea. Finally, be sure to pick a project leader with strong organizational skills and the ability to delegate tasks.
5. Get the word out
Think about the audiences who need to know about the event. Will it be strictly internal and event with employees of your organization or open to the public where you’re asking others to support? Once you understand the various audiences you're appealing to, you can figure out ways to tell them about your actions.
6. Get ready for your big day
On the day of the event, make sure to provide clear instructions and guidance to volunteers. Assign tasks and responsibilities to ensure that the event runs smoothly. Take pictures and videos to document the event and share them with your organization and the community.
7. Say “thank you”
After the volunteer event, follow up with volunteers, partner organizations, and anyone else who supported the event to thank them for their participation and highlight their impact. Keep a list of feedback or suggestions for improvement and consider hosting future events to promote community involvement and team building.
Looking for more ways to volunteer and give back? Visit www.createthegood.org.