Team versus solo employee volunteering. And the winner is…
Team volunteering! When it comes to the workplace, team volunteering can’t be beat.
Of course, all volunteering is a good thing. Science has established, for example, that all pro-social behavior, defined as helping others or a societal cause, makes us happier, healthier and more successful. If your employees tutor children, serve on boards or otherwise volunteer without being accompanied by colleagues, their lives are still enriched. Furthermore, those children and those nonprofit organizations are stronger for the contributions of these individual volunteers.
To generate the full complement of workplace benefits, however, requires that the volunteering to be team based. Pre-post research conducted at HP by OneOC’s corporate social responsibility expert consultant, Bea Boccalandro, finds that only volunteering performed with coworkers increases employee engagement and productivity. Team volunteering also has the following advantages over solo volunteering:
- It fosters connections between workers
- It develops teamwork skills
- It relieves feelings of isolation in employees afflicted by this
- It presents as a strong brand (e.g., groups of smiling employees in matching T-shirts doing good)
- It provides a worthy topic for positive workplace conversation
- It gives employees a sense of shared purpose
In other words, done correctly, team volunteering is an especially powerful tool for strengthening work cultures. Our “Team Volunteering Checklist” can help you design team volunteer activities that are high impact (members only). Of course, if you prefer, we can also organize employee volunteering team events for you.
 See, for example, Stephen G. Post, PhD “Rx It’s Good to Be Good (G2BG)” in American Journal of Health Promotion 2017, Vol. 31(2) 163-17.