Valuing volunteers

Recently I read an article about company creativity in retaining their employees. One company gives their employees a day off to get involved with the community; another does a blood drive—literally driving their employees to the blood bank to donate blood.

Recently I read an article about company creativity in retaining their employees. One company gives their employees a day off to get involved with the community; another does a blood drive—literally driving their employees to the blood bank to donate blood. Both companies say it fosters a sense of community (within the company) by actively contributing or giving back to the community in which they reside.

It’s a simple fact—volunteers are difficult to come by these days. Keeping employees is difficult these days. Companies that invest in their staff and the community are always in demand.

Small communities like Stettler depend on volunteers for programs and projects that benefit the entire community. Non-volunteers do not realize the countless hours that go into unpaid jobs so that children can play hockey, artistic performances and dinner theatres happen, flu clinics are manned, roadside garbage is picked up, and daily meals are delivered to seniors. All of these programs and events enhance life in Stettler. And all of them are run because community members see value in stepping forward to contribute.

In Stettler, local firefighters and police often volunteer for food bank pick-ups or charity check stops. Their employers support this and make our community a better place to live. These employers see value in their employees giving back to the community and ultimately it reflects positively on them.

Employers may wish to consider just how “engaged” they are in their communities. Sometimes the payoff may be with employees who like the employer and plan to stick around. Or it might be a way of attracting employees who wish to work for businesses that are well-thought of in their community. In any case, it might mean communities have the volunteers they need to run worthwhile events and programs. And it might mean employees who are attracted to or choose to remain with employers who care. It might just be another creative way to attract and retain employees.

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