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You've likely heard the term “Volunteer Time Off” thrown around in recent years as it has dramatically grown in popularity as a benefit employers are offering. In fact, the number of companies offering it increased by 5% from 2017-2019.
Although it may seem self-explanatory, let's take a more extensive look at what Volunteer Time Off is, why it's important to employees, and how it could be beneficial to your business.
What is VTO?
VTO, which stands for Volunteer Time Off, is an employee benefit in which a company offers employees paid time off to volunteer at a non-profit.
Some companies will organize volunteer opportunities for their employees, often partnering with a specific non-profit, while others leave it totally up to the employee to pick which organization they want to work with. There are certainly benefits to both approaches, if you can figure out a way to incorporate both, it could be a home-run for your company.
While companies like Salesforce offer upwards of 50 hours of VTO to their employees, even just providing one workday can make a significant impact on your employees, company and community.
Why VTO is Valuable to Your Employees
Today’s technology boom has made some suspect that due to the distance we keep from each other using phones and computers, we live in a self-centered world where people no longer have compassion for one another. In actuality, this couldn't be further from the truth. People still want to lend a helping hand in any way they can. For this reason, the popularity of VTO benefits has grown exponentially in recent years.
It’s easy for employees to see that their company is invested in the well-being of their community when they offer VTO opportunities. It instills a sense of pride as they see their company’s values align with their own.
It's especially important to consider the value this provides for the millennials, which has officially become the largest generation in the workplace. Their generation cares about social causes more than older generations – and they often bring those convictions to the workplace.
In the 2019 Millennial Survey from Deloitte, they reported there is a strong correlation between the 28% who said they planned on staying at their job for another 5+ years and those who reported positively on their company’s impact on the community. This stat is especially significant, given that in today’s workforce people are voluntarily leaving their jobs at a record rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How VTO Can Benefit Your Business
When exploring the idea of offering VTO to your company, at some point, you will ask yourself: Is it really worth paying employees to send them out of the office? In short, the answer is a resounding “yes!” Let's look at how VTO can make a positive impact on your revenue and the long-term success of your business.
- Attract employees who are exceptionally passionate and find a sense of purpose in the company's social and community values
- Support retention efforts, leading to a significant reduction in turnover and hiring costs
- Promote an overall increase in job satisfaction, leading to healthier employees and increased productivity
- Give employees more positive feelings towards work-life balance
- Help build stronger bonds between coworkers
- Improve a company’s brand recognition, reputation, and trust in the community
- Lead a reduction in Human Resources costs associated with managing other health-related benefits
As VTO continues to grow in popularity, the resounding positive feedback becomes harder to ignore. Take the time to lay out how you could offer this benefit at your company and try to envision the extraordinary impact you could make by creating this opportunity for your employees.