This article was originally posted on Realizing Your Worth, the Realized Worth blog -- a leading source for Workplace Volunteering and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) best practices and opinion leadership. Please welcome today's guest, Chris Jarvis. Chris takes on the power of reflection in corporate volunteering programs. We like his insights and think his ideas for creating an engaged workforce through the process of reflection can also be applied to other kinds of volunteer teams -- student groups, civic teams, parent-school teams, etc.
- Improved community perception and marketing potential
- Creation of positive culture of caring and community service
- Improved communications as people from different sites, departments and levels of seniority work together on social community initiatives
- A license to operate through the approval of local community by the demonstration of good social policy practice
- Improved relationships with customers who increasingly demand information about corporate-citizenship activities
- More effective networking through community links
- Improved morale and motivation
- Lower staff turnover (which attracts and maintains good employees)
- Better company relations
- Positive effect on productivity
- Greater employee fulfillment
- Skill and ability increase for employees
- Reduced absenteeism and fewer labour stoppages
- Personal and professional growth which strengthens the workforce
- Hold casual “round table” meetings with everyone who volunteered to hear about their experience (I included some ideas for round table questions below.)
- Have volunteer leaders present at a "Lunch & Learn" and explain what they did and why it was meaningful
- Create social gatherings over lunch (or better yet, after work over beer) where employees can talk about volunteering with other employees who may be curious or want to share their concerns
- Have volunteers write short blogs or use twitter to send out micro-blogs about their experiences. Be sure to have them invite questions and more dialogue on their thoughts.
- Work with HR to incorporate reflection on these activities during performance reviews
- Invite employees to include quotes or short blurbs about their experiences for the annual CSR report.
- Was your volunteering experience what you expected?
- Did you learn anything about yourself?
- What kinds of things did you discover about the community you were working in?
- What do you think your personal contributions were to the volunteering experience?
- Have any of your values, opinions, beliefs been influenced by volunteering?
- What is your biggest takeaway?
- How have you been challenged?
- What changes are you considering for yourself?
Chris Jarvis is a leading CSR blogger and speaker who works with companies to help them connect with their communities. Chris co-founded Realized Worth with his partner, Angela Parker, to help companies create outstanding corporate volunteering programs and utilize social media to create authentic and engaging conversations.
Together these 2 elements give companies the power and relevance of action and dialogue; involvement and storytelling; "the walk and the talk."
Chirs can be found on Twitter at @RealizedWorth and vlogging as the exclusive Canadian representative of 3BLMedia. 3BLMedia works with organizations to tell their CSR, Sustainability and Cause Marketing stories across the social web.