Employees Too Busy to Volunteer? Shift the Narrative.

By Ryan Scott

I often hear feedback from CSR leaders who lament the challenge of busy employees.

Companies everywhere are populated by workhorses who are overcommitted, under-resourced and scrambling to unbury themselves from a towering pile of to-dos. “Volunteering is wonderful,” think many of these folks, “whenever there’s a spare moment to get to it.” Followed by: “But let’s get real: it’s an extracurricular for others, the ones who have the luxury of time.”

How can CSR leaders shift the narrative, for both employees who are weighing their time and senior leaders who are weighing resources?

First, let’s look at the irony here; volunteering is a leading priority for most of us. Data shows that the opportunity to give back is one of the top aspects that a majority of us consider before applying for or accepting a new job.

But higher goals often get set aside when we’re drowning. And when volunteering feels disjointed from a company’s culture, it’s easy to feel like the overwhelm of our day jobs can’t accommodate one more thing.

That’s why volunteer participation rates at most companies are so low.

This sort of internal contradiction between aspirations and reality sows seeds of discontent at work and in life. In other words; when we can’t match our priorities with our possibilities, we get unhappy fast.

And employee unhappiness isn’t just a problem for employees; it’s a problem for their companies. In fact, a report on employee happiness by staffing agency Robert Half International concludes that employee happiness is pivotal to organizational success.

What is employee happiness? The report, which surveyed 12,000 workers, notes that it’s an umbrella term for something much larger, where employees are able to access a wide range of positive emotions, including hope, optimism, confidence, gratitude, inspiration and awe, among others. Workplace happiness can be boiled down to three core positive emotions: enthusiasm, interest and contentment.

Happiness doesn’t mean rainbows and kittens every minute of every day. At the workplace, what it does mean is an overall sense of forward momentum, satisfaction and meaning.

Since workplace happiness is crucial to the long-term health of organizations, it’s important that leaders understand the various causes at play. Research shows that happy employees share several characteristics:

  • They’re more resilient and loyal
  • They’re the most persuasive advocates for organizations
  • They do better work, at both the individual and team level
  • They’re more productive
  • They tend to be more creative and innovative
  • They’re healthier

So what does employee happiness have to do with volunteering at work?

The study shows that workers who feel proud of their companies are 2.8 times more likely to be happy at work compared to those who don’t. In fact, the #1 driver of happiness at work globally is “pride in their organization.” Pride is also the top driver of happiness in male workers, and the top driver of work happiness within each age category of workers. For women, “pride in their organization” is the #2 driver of happiness at work, second only to “being treated with fairness and respect.” And “pride in their organization” is also the #1 or #2 driver of Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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