Friday, May 09, 2008

Retaining Gen X and Gen Y

Employees have long recognized the rewards of volunteering; the chance to share their skills and expertise with those who really need it is always a fulfilling experience, and certainly providing the ways and means for employees to participate in such activities is not new, but I do think these activities are getting more attention as it starts to feel like we might be getting to the tipping point on issues like global warming, energy conservation, etc.

According to a recent article reported by The Associated Press entitled Companies See Volunteering as a Benefit, organizations are more actively granting employees the time they need to volunteer. Some are even creating company organized volunteering opportunities.

Moreover, companies are finding that they can link these volunteer programs to their overall business objectives. The article, for example, notes how employees of dog food maker Pedigree can volunteer at animal shelters as part of that company’s program. Organizations are also using volunteering as an employee retention strategy, since it undoubtedly improves company morale. It’s also an initiative in which members of our current multi-generational workforce share an interest.

In the article, David Eisner, chief executive of the Corporation for National and Community Service, notes how the younger members of the workforce use volunteering to help achieve their desired work-life balance. At the same time, older workers just enjoy the opportunity to serve their communities.

Volunteering is a positive action for both companies and their employees. Yet, we also can’t forget that the true beneficiaries, of course, are the recipients of this good will.

Sounds like the proverbial win-win to me.

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