The Benefits of Volunteer Time Off to Organisations & Employees

Volunteer time off (VTO) is an employer-sponsored paid leave granted by companies as a benefit to the employees to do community service or volunteer work. Employees can sign up to volunteer with an approved non-profit charity or community organisation.

Volunteer time off brings numerous benefits for both parties and is considered a type of employee benefit. Volunteer time off gives your employees the flexibility to volunteer during the workday and still get paid. This allows employees to give back to the community without having to give up a day’s wages. 

Why Volunteer Time Off is Relevant for Employers

There are also benefits to the employer. Volunteer time off can benefit your business by attracting top talents, boosting business image, improving work environment, increasing employee retention and boosting the overall wellbeing of the staff force.

In today’s workforce, millennials expect their employers to contribute to social good, be it donations or volunteering. Hence, by offering VTO, it demonstrates that the organisation is serious about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and shares the same values as their employees.

Companies that offer VTO increase employee engagement and productivity.  This kind of company culture is a good way for employers to hire and retain talents in a purpose-driven organisation. Not only does VTO increase employee engagement, but it also helps employees stay motivated and employed at the organisation longer.

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List of Ways Employees Can Benefit from Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

Volunteer time off is a trending employee benefit because of the surging interest that employees have in shaping their jobs with an eye toward social impact once they’re in the door.

Here are the ways your employees can benefit from VTO. 

1. Facilitates a Sense of Purpose

Employees who enjoy volunteer work are exceptionally passionate about their jobs, reliable and helpful, making them attractive talents to employers. VTO is an engaging way to increase employees’ job satisfaction and satisfy their sense of purpose. 

2. Boosts your Employees’ Mental Health

Doing good for others can help your employees feel good about themselves. Not only is volunteering beneficial for your employees’ mental well-beginning, but it is also good for their physical health. Volunteer work often requires varying degrees of physical activities such as carrying boxes, or planting trees. 

Read how Babilou Family Singapore create a company culture of a happy workplace for their employees

3. Teaches Employees New Skills

Volunteer jobs encourage employees to develop soft skills including empathy, collaboration, adaptability, leadership, accountability and public speaking. Employees who volunteer can cultivate these soft skills that are increasingly important for knowledge workers.

Guidelines for Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

To implement a Volunteer Time Off policy, you should take into account the size and scope of your company, the availability of your budget, the direction of your branding strategy and the values that your company abides by. 

Here are some tips to ensure your VTO policy is sustainable:

1. Start small & local

Do an employee survey to determine the interest of your staff and the direction of the volunteer programme to determine your volunteer hours. 

2. Be Specific

When implementing your VTO policy, be precise about who is eligible to participate, the number of VTO hours allowed, the application process and record-keeping of the VTO hours. 

3. Align Your VTO activities with Your Organisational Goals

Your VTO policy should be aligned with what your organisation wants and is trying to achieve. Based on your organisation's circumstances, you have the flexibility to either allow your employees complete freedom in selecting the activities they prefer or restrict the locations where they can engage in volunteering.

4. Use Formalised Time Tracking

Established a time-tracking system for VTO like you do for general paid time off (PTO), vacation time, or sick leave to minimise the chances of abuse. Be sure to keep the time in a separate bank so it is not mixed up with other leaves.

5. Educate Your Workforce 

Hold information sessions where you instruct how employees can use their VTO or record a quick video so that your employees can watch it asynchronously. Explain what you are implementing, the reasons and goals of implementing this VTO. 

6. Lead by Example

When senior leaders in the organisation make use of their VTO and share what they did with their employees, it motivates the workforce to use the benefit. 

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Establishing A Company Culture of Volunteer Time Off 

In summary, fostering a company culture that embraces Volunteer Time Off not only benefits employees personally but also contributes to a positive workplace environment, enhances the company's reputation, and aligns with the values of a socially conscious workforce.

Contact us if you want to know more about developing a career with us or enrolling your child at one of our centres. 


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