Becoming a volunteer has a number of benefits, it’s a good way to improve your local community and you can learn new skills and meet new people. Encouraging your company’s employees to participate in a volunteer program is not only a great way to give something back to your community it’s also a good bonding exercise for the members of your staff. Here are some insights into creating a volunteer program in your business.

Assess community needs: The first step is to have a good look at your community as see where help is needed. Once you have an idea of the picture, talk to your employees about their areas of interest and see how these might be usefully linked to a community volunteer program. Also, check out your local chamber of commerce to find out more about community needs and volunteer programs which are already in place.

Prioritize goals: Your employee volunteer program should reflect the ethos and values of your company. Apply these to identifying the priorities and goals that your program can meet.

Encourage participation: Encourage employee support through all levels of management and staff. Top management should champion the program and garner participation.

Structure the program: An effective volunteer program should have structure and clear policies. If your company is large enough, set up a steering committee for members of staff so you can clearly see who wants to participate and what they can offer.

Promote fundraising: Combine volunteering activities with fundraising for your cause or local non-profit organizations. You can encourage this by having your company make a donation.

Assess your program: Get regular feedback from your staff so that you can see how effective the program is and which particular aspects your employees enjoy most. Evaluate the results or your program and compare them to the goals you set at the beginning. Are there areas where you could make improvements?

Implement a rewards program: Give your employees incentive and recognition for their input by establishing a rewards program, whether it’s a certificate of appreciation, a t-shirt, or a few extra vacation days.

Publicize your efforts: Publicize your efforts and results both internally and externally. Make the most of social media and update the community through your local newspaper and radio stations. Publicize upcoming events well in advance.

As an alternative to doing volunteer work in your local community, you employees might be interested in volunteering overseas. By donating just one or two weeks of their time, they can help one of the many long-term projects happening all over the work, such as building homes, teaching English or helping raise health and nutrition awareness. Check out this website to find out more about how to volunteer abroad.

Volunteering is a great way to share your skills and knowledge with those who need them most. Become a volunteer today and keep spreading your passion and enthusiasm for helping others.