Skip to content

How To Enhance Corporate Volunteering Participation?

Tips to achieve ESG milestones

How To Enhance Corporate Volunteering Participation?

Tips to achieve ESG milestones

More than ever, customers, employees, investors, and communities are aware of how an organization makes positive contributions to the world, rather than simply how much revenue and profits are made.

Corporate volunteering – a workplace-supported initiative that encourages employees to contribute their time, energy, and skills as part of a community service, outreach, or social responsibility activity on company time without additional compensation or direct personal remuneration – is one of the indicators of corporate social responsibility that is being increasingly emphasized in recent years. Corporate volunteering is beneficial to employer branding, talent attraction, positive, investor appeal, economies of scale for recruiting and organizing volunteer efforts, employee wellbeing, and more. Indeed, attracting employees to engage in corporate volunteering programs for once is not difficult, the most challenging part is to retain volunteers in long-term efforts to contribute, so as to ensure the corporate volunteering programs are more than lip services and save costs for volunteer training.

Volunteer Work Design Model

The Volunteer Work Design Model has been developed by Grant (2012), endeavoring to lay a framework for volunteer attraction and retention in corporate volunteering programs. The model is built upon the motivational and role identity theories of volunteering, in which the initial corporate volunteering experience is highly important because it determines whether the volunteers can be retained. Moreover, the employees’ decision of continued volunteering results from the interactions between employees’ volunteering motivations, volunteer program design, and organizational practices. This article will briefly review how to enhance corporate volunteering participation based on the Volunteer Work Design Model.

Motivation for Corporate Volunteering Participation

Of note, individual differences contribute significantly to volunteering motivation. For instance, people with different big five personality types are predisposed to volunteer with different underlying motivations; while age and education are positively associated with more volunteering hours. From the motivational theorist’s perspective, people tend to volunteer as a means of compensation when the six fundamental motivations are unsatisfied in other domains of life, especially at work. Interestingly, when people are unsatisfied with their current job design, they are more likely the join corporate volunteering program rather than volunteer outside. The following are the fundamental motivations underly employees volunteerism.

  • Prosocial (i.e., intention to benefit others)
  • Self-enhancement (i.e., increase self-esteem)
  • Belonging (i.e., build and strengthen relationships with others)
  • Self-protective (i.e., reduce guilt over one’s good fortunes or dis- tract attention away from personal problems)
  • Developmental (i.e., earn or gain new knowledge and skills)
  • Career (i.e., improve one’s job prospects)

Volunteer Program Design

Ample amounts of research indicate that the experiences of volunteering is the major determinant of continued volunteering. To retain volunteers, the most effective way is to satisfy the psychosocial needs of the volunteers by targeting the six aforementioned fundamental volunteering motivations throughout the experiences in the volunteering programs. The volunteer program can be evaluated based on three major elements: (a) task characteristics, (b) social characteristics, and (c) knowledge characteristics. Each element carries different characteristics of the duties within volunteer programs, and each element can satisfy different fundamental motivations. The table below briefly elucidates the characteristics of the three volunteer program elements.

In particular, task characteristics can satisfy the prosocial and self-enhancement motivation; social characteristics can satisfy the belonging and self-protective motivation; and knowledge characteristics can satisfy the developmental and career motivation. Below is a list that briefly summarized the characteristics of each element in the volunteer program.


Organizational Practices for Corporate Volunteering Participation

Apart from individual factors and the nature of the volunteer program, organizational practices are strong predictors of employees’ repeat participation in corporate volunteer programs. There are several organizational practices that construct long-term commitment in corporate volunteering. In particular, it can be done by exerting social pressure, developing sense of autonomy and ownership, constructing public image and self-concepts as a helpful person, and cognitive dissonance. The table below sunmmarizes different organizational practices that are helpful in boosting long-term corporate volunteering.


In summary, corporate volunteering is more than helping those in need, but is also beneficial to the company itself and its employees. In response to the challenge of retaining employees in corporate volunteering programs, both corporates and non-profits are responsible for constructing an encouraging environment to support volunteering, and tailoring the volunteering in line with employees’ psychological needs.

Interested to know more?
Talk to us today.


What Are You Looking For in Your Next Training?

Get Team Building Brochure