by Sarbari Gupta, Ph.D.
Simply stated, doing good is the right thing to do. It is good for the people and communities being helped. It is good for the individuals who give of their time, and it is good for the companies who employ them. Not too long ago, the legal profession alone seemed to understand the value of making pro bono work an essential component of its business model. Today, more and more companies are seeing the value of offering employees paid time off (PTO) to help worthy causes. Consider these statistics:
Beyond societal need, there is a strong business case for adopting this policy. Companies experience tangible benefits from offering PTO for community service, especially among millennials. It enhances a firm’s ability to recruit the best talent and retain staff once employed. It helps increase staff cohesion and engagement, which translates to a happy and motivated workforce and may explain the rise in retention rates. Of course, a well-established civic connection demonstrates a firm’s commitment to social responsibility and advances a positive corporate reputation in the community where the company operates and the areas where employees volunteer.
Still not convinced? Here are some other thoughts executives contemplating a community service PTO policy might want to consider:
Our company, Electrosoft, instituted a Community Service PTO policy earlier this year and the results have been nothing short of remarkable. Staff have assisted mature workers in finding jobs, mentored young women on careers in STEM, cleared invasive forest plants to preserve our environment, built homes for the needy and worked at a center that sells donated home items to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
The potential for impact is great. I encourage other executives to follow suit.