Employee volunteering can be a powerful tool for businesses, delivering a host of benefits that can enhance a company's reputation, corporate culture and employee wellbeing.

Clearly there are competitive and cultural advantages for employers that allow staff to volunteer on work time. It provides a substantial boost to their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and corporate social goals (CSGs), fosters social mobility and enables businesses to increase their footprint and brand as they give back to the local community.

The recipients of volunteering activity—often charities, community causes and so on—tend to operate with a very lean cost base, so volunteers can add anything from much-needed expertise and insight to labour or human company.

Typically a business can facilitate two types of volunteering:


This can take the form of team-building exercises, park clean-up events or other short-term activities in partnership with a charity or community organisation. Micro-volunteering is an ideal choice for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) with heavy workloads and few staff. It offers a way to give back to the community without the burden of long-term commitment, and can serve as a volunteering 'taster' for employees who might not have previously considered it due to personal or professional commitments.

Micro-volunteering can vary greatly depending on the chosen cause or organisation, ranging from community initiatives to workshops. With Adviza’s Skill Up Bucks programme, for instance, we can act as a go-between to facilitate employers working with schools, often with micro-volunteering interventions like careers days.

Long-term Volunteering

A more sustainable commitment to a charity or community organisation, long-term volunteering runs over an extended period. It often involves deploying a company's unique skills or niche to benefit a chosen charity or community cause—perhaps lending expertise in finance, recruitment, administration or mentoring. This kind of volunteering can involve individuals acting as a charity trustee or serving on a school board, either individually or as a representative of their employer.

SMEs often allow staff to volunteer for causes that align with their sector, but branching out can be beneficial, increasing brand awareness and publicity outside of your sphere of influence. The long-term impact for a volunteering organisation can be profound, providing valuable assistance to a cause while fostering a sense of commitment among employees. At the same time, long-term volunteering requires commitment, and can be challenging to fulfil during unpredictable times.

Why facilitate employee volunteering?

Employee volunteering provides a multitude of benefits: it can bolster employee wellbeing, enhance team building and offer invaluable insights into different ways of life or communities outside of an employee’s normal experience. For businesses that are unable to provide staff with extensive benefits packages or bonuses, allowing employees to pursue passion projects or engage with nature during work time for a few hours a year can significantly enhance their wellbeing; as such, it’s a very popular workplace benefit.

Micro-volunteering initiatives can strengthen relationships within a team, fostering unity around a joint cause, leading to improved team dynamics, personal growth and strengthened relationships.

Moreover, volunteers often learn from their experience as they gain insights into how other organisations work. They may be exposed to different and beneficial policies or processes, and bring them back into the workplace.

One of the most significant benefits of volunteering is the opportunity to give back to the community. While profit and growth often drive SMEs or PLCs, the social mobility that comes with volunteering—especially for volunteers from under-represented groups—can be highly rewarding for employees.

Employee volunteering can also serve as a freeform of training, as employees can sharpen their skills in people and project management. Of course, students can be volunteers too, gaining valuable skills and confidence from work experience with a charity. I once mentored a volunteer student at a café in a community and learning centre. When she joined us she was almost too shy to speak, but flourished as we built up her workload to suit her growing confidence and skill. She eventually obtained paid work for the summer, her prospects and CV transformed.

How to get involved in volunteering

For employers in our regions, participating in Adviza’s employability schemes like Skill Up Bucks or BEEP is a good way to be involved and add value to communities. Any employer willing to share their expertise or discuss career options and pathways with local schools or colleges can add huge value, while helping to address the skills gap. Employers can also establish their own mentoring schemes, offering out their in-house experts to charities, community projects or education centres that need them.

As resources become more costly, and new generations of employees increasingly keen to see their employers embracing CSR, now is a great time to recognise and embrace the value of employee volunteering.


Learn more:

Employers in Berkshire can register for BEEP by completing this online form: BEEP registration form

Employers in Buckinghamshire can register for SUB by completing this online form: SUB registration form


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