Creating employee volunteer opportunities is not only good for the community, it’s good for business

Canadian businesses take employee retention seriously, spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours every year to build and nurture employee engagement. But engagement goes beyond perks and bonuses.  Millennials, in particular, are looking to work for organizations whose core values and goals resonate with them; companies that give back to the community in meaningful ways.

According to studies by Aon Consulting and Cone Cause Evolution, 95 per cent of employees believe that their employer should give back to their community, and almost all employees think it’s important for their companies to be providing them with opportunities to become involved in social issues.  Among employees who are aware of their company’s charitable endeavours, 89 per cent feel a strong sense of loyalty to their employer, and two thirds feel more engaged at work as a result.

For more than two decades, Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area’s Adopt-a-Day program has offered companies the ultimate employee engagement experience at build sites in Toronto, York Region and Brampton. It’s a unique opportunity for organizations to give back and make a positive, tangible difference in the lives of local families and in the community, while investing in their staff.

At a Habitat GTA Adopt-a-Day employees work together to help build a safe home for a family in need of affordable housing, while learning new skills, strengthening relationships, and boosting interdepartmental cooperation. Ultimately, this translates into enhanced team performance and productivity.  A 2015 Volunteer Canada report shows that for every employee who participates in company-supported volunteer programs, more than $2,400 of value is generated through improved engagement and reduced turnover costs.

RBC Insurance has been bringing its employees together to volunteer on Habitat for Humanity build sites in the Greater Toronto Area since 2013.

“The number of employees who want to participate in Habitat for Humanity bu‎ild days is incredible,” says Rino D’Onofrio, Head, Canadian Insurance Business for RBC Insurance. “All of us at RBC Insurance are eager to volunteer our time to give back to the communities where we work and live.  Partnering with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and getting to know the families whose homes we’re helping to build is just one of the ways we help communities prosper.”

From boutique firms to multinationals, the Adopt-a-Day program has been embraced by more than 700 GTA companies over the last decade, as a means of galvanizing their staff and developing many of those soft skills essential in today’s workplace: leadership, problem solving, and collaboration.

“It’s a great investment. Not only do companies see the benefits of a more engaged workforce, but they are making immediate contributions to the community,” says Angela Solomos, Senior Director, Corporate Partnerships for Habitat for Humanity GTA.


Learn more about team-building opportunities for your organization at Habitat for Humanity GTA

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