This article was written by Strategic Sustainability Consultants, one of our proud corporate partners.
Small businesses can often feel intimidated by making a commitment to sustainability due to the misconception that becoming a sustainable organisation means an absurd and impractical financial commitment.
There are many ways in which a small business can commit to sustainability, including through staff volunteer hours.
Depending on your individual organisation and the interest and commitment levels of your team, staff volunteering can be done in a number of ways.
Some staff volunteering work may be done during business hours; others may be done before or after work or on weekends.
There are a number of ways you can work with your team to encourage volunteer hours. You may decide to volunteer at a certain event or invite staff members to participate in an event, such as a fun run. You may choose a day of particular significance to you and / or your organisation, such as Clean Up Australia Day, and work with your team to come up with a concept to volunteer on that day. You may work with your team to organise a fundraiser, orchestrated by your business. You could even replace your team-building day or staff training day with a volunteering day.
There are organisations across the country which are already committing staff hours to volunteering as part of their sustainability commitment. One such organisation is the REA Group. In 2014, the REA Group created a volunteer bank. In this bank, there were 1,200 days of paid leave, one for each employee. Each employee was encouraged to bank a day of paid leave to provide voluntary assistance in the community, either locally or globally. Unused days from employees could be accessed by other employees who wanted to take more time for volunteering.
Opportunities like these will become increasingly available for staff as millennials begin to populate the workforce over the coming years as a large proportion of millennials are committed to working for organisations which are making a positive impact on the community. If your business is seeing an increase in the amount of millennials hired or if you are generally interested in finding out how you might be able to start a staff volunteer program, contact us today!