Since becoming the Corporate Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, I have been fascinated by the concept of engaged employees, and what inspires an employee to become more engaged in their workplace.
What is an engaged employee?
There are two different definitions of engaged employees that I really like. The first comes from a 2002 article from the Gallup Management Journal: “An engaged employee is a builder. They perform at consistently high levels. They want to use their talents and strengths at work every day. They work with passion, drive innovation, and move their organization forward.”
The second definition is more employee-centric and really gets to the heart of why having engaged employees matters: “Engagement is when employees get to utilize their skills, strengths, and innate creativity, and to contribute to something meaningful. Then it follows that they will put forth careful effort, demonstrate motivation, and perform at an above-average level. Thus leading to what we all want as business leaders: improved business results.” 
Employee Volunteer Programs can help with employee engagement:
There are countless strategies to increase employee engagement in your workplace, but the one I am focused on today is offering employee volunteer programs, or EVPs. EVPs are company sponsored volunteer opportunities, whether they are one-time, ongoing, during the work day, or on the weekend. 94 percent of employee volunteers believed volunteerism was a core component or positive influence on job satisfaction.
How can volunteering engage your employees?
- 87% of employees who volunteered with their companies reported an improved perception of their employer.
- When companies act pro-socially, employees view themselves in a positive light, generating trust between you and your employee.
- Employees will believe in their boss if they know they meaningfully support causes they care about.
- 64% of employees who actively volunteer said that volunteering with work colleagues has strengthened their work relationships.
- Millennials who frequently participate in their company’s volunteer activities are twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive, as compared to Millennials who rarely or never volunteer.
- Employees who volunteered “worked harder, were more willing to help their colleagues, talked positively about their company, and were less likely to waste time at work or miss meetings.”
Are you convinced? If you would like to learn more about how United Way of Salt Lake can help establish or strengthen your EVP, visit our website at http://www.uw.org/volunteer/ or contact Alison Cundiff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Coffman, C. (2002) “The High Cost of Disengaged Employees”, a Q&A by the Gallup Management Journal