Why Volunteering is Important for Your Business

Wondering why volunteering is important for your business?

You get an array of benefits from employer-supported volunteering (ESV), also known as corporate volunteering.

Your ESV programme can involve projects arranged by the business, supporting individual employee volunteering, or a combination of both.

At Blooming Haus, we believe in the power of volunteering, and we've seen its benefits firsthand, from sharing our passion for sustainability with others to enhancing the well-being of our team.

We're excited to share our insights about why volunteering is important for your business.

How Your Business and Employees Get Value from Volunteering

1. Reasons Why Volunteering is Important for Your Business

There are many reasons why volunteering is important for your business.

Some of these reasons are specific to a business.

For example, we collaborate with sustainability focussed organisations such as Buglife, Ecologi, The National Forest, and the Woodland Trust because they're a good fit with our eco-friendly ethos and love of flowers and nature.

However, we'll look at some reasons for the importance of volunteering that apply to all businesses.

Stretching and developing employees

Looking for ways to develop your employees that aren't too costly for the business?

Volunteering is an excellent solution.

When employees volunteer, they practice soft skills such as communication and leadership.

They also have the opportunity to use professional skills in a different environment.
So, if you develop your ESV programme well, your employees learn and grow.

You can include volunteering as part of employee learning and development plans, and the skills they learn and enhance improve their performance at work.

Enhancing your sustainability record

Even if you're already dedicated to sustainability like us, there's always room for enhancing your efforts.

Doing this has benefits that may surprise you.

A 2022 report by First Insight found that 72% of consumers consider sustainability when making purchasing decisions.

So, you can grow your customer base by enhancing your sustainability record with relevant volunteering projects.

You can read more about this report and its insights for businesses.

Improving your sustainability record also helps you reach goals such as achieving B Corp status in recognition of your environmental performance and accountability.

If you aim to raise the sustainability profile of your business, you may find this article useful.

"How Can My Business Help Fight Climate Change in 2023?"
We're also happy to pass on our expertise.

We practice sustainability in everything we do, including using green energy to power our studio, composting organic materials, and reusing delivery packaging and flower buckets.

We also collaborate with relevant organisations such as Buglife.

If you'd like the benefit of our knowledge, pop your questions in the comments, and we'll get back to you.

We'd also recommend checking out the Buglife site and other sustainability focussed websites such as Ecologi, Friends of the Earth, and the Woodland Trust.

Building corporate social responsibility

Building your corporate social responsibility (CSR) is another reason why volunteering is important for your business.

Your business is held to account by CSR self-regulation for its impacts on the environment and society.

Having ESV in place makes this impact positive.

This is great news because positive CSR means your business is a responsible one.

Once people become aware of this, you get a good reputation with customers and potential investors.

Research suggests that more than 80% of young professionals consider CSR when making employment decisions.

So, you'll also find it easier to attract high-quality employees if your CSR is positive.

Helping the third sector achieve more

The cost of living crisis is affecting most businesses, including third-sector organisations.

Your company’s volunteers can make a big difference to these providers.

They allow them to do more work without having to increase their expenditure.

We're strong supporters of the third sector, so we embark on collaborations such as our activities with Buglife.

This charity aims to protect insects and help the environment by doing so.

Our work with them begins in September when we start rewilding areas of London as part of their B-Lines project, making it easier for insects to survive and thrive.

This video shows you just how important working with organisations like Buglife is.
Your business can work with third-sector organisations by providing volunteers to help them.

You can make a real difference to them and the wider community.

Improving employee health

As an employer, you have a responsibility to attend to the health and well-being of your employees.

This is one of the main reasons why volunteering is important to your business.

Volunteering is a proven way to reduce stress and burnout.

It also boosts mental well-being and reduces the number of employee sick days.

These effects of volunteering don't only benefit employees; they positively impact the performance of your business and the workforce overall.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of working hours lost to sickness or injury increased to 2.6% in 2022, up 0.4% from 2021 and 0.7% on pre-pandemic levels.

So, any impact in the right direction is good news for businesses and the individuals concerned.
Volunteering gives people a higher purpose, making it less likely they will have cardiovascular problems and more likely they'll remain healthier overall.

So, allowing your employees to volunteer during work hours makes them healthier.

Given how vital this aspect of volunteering is, we'll take a closer look.

2. How Volunteering Boosts Your Employees' Health

When considering why volunteering is important for your business, the health of your employees is a vital factor.

The social aspect of volunteering, and the meaningful connections made, relieve stress and improve overall psychological well-being.

The simple fact is that volunteering makes people feel happy.

And happy employees are more likely to feel good, which helps them to remain healthier and more productive in the workplace.
Volunteering can be especially useful if you have an older workforce in your business.

The older we get, the more likely we are to develop issues such as chronic pain and heart disease.

Spending time volunteering, especially if physical activity is involved, helps reduce health risks and alleviates symptoms.

This helps the individual and improves their performance as an employee.

For further proof of why volunteering is important for employee health and well-being, consider this National Survey on the Volunteer Experience from 2019.

It provides insights into how individuals benefit from volunteering, including that 77% of respondents reported experiencing improved mental health and well-being due to their activities.

3. Tips for Making Employer-Supported Volunteering Meaningful

You can see why volunteering is important for your business.

But, to optimise its effects, you must also ensure your ESV is meaningful.

You can take some steps to ensure this is the case.

Clarify what ESV will mean to your business and employees

Remember that your ESV has to suit your business and your employees.

Consider which activities fit with your business activities, goals, employee abilities, and hours of operation.

And think about all employees and their working patterns and locations.
If you ensure your ESV is a good fit, you're more likely to get support from everyone across your business.

This support is essential for your volunteering to succeed.

Align volunteering with corporate values

Your business has goals and values.

One of the reasons why volunteering is important to your business is that you can align your activities with your values.

For example, we're a sustainability focussed business, so we want our voluntary activities to reflect this.

Our activities are influenced by our co-founder Michael, a Chartered Environmentalist, and our passion for nature and the environment.
Flowers by Blooming Haus
So, sustainability is our focus.

This is why we collaborate with organisations like the Woodland Trust and The National Forest to plant trees.

Consider employees at all times

If you're considering introducing ESV to your business, your employees are essential to your plans.

So, you need to think about their skills, development, and what they need to volunteer.
You must also communicate with your employees to show them the value of volunteering.

Finally, work with organisations to ensure your employees have the best possible experience and protect their health and safety.

Understand the needs of the community

When deciding on corporate volunteering opportunities for your business, consider community needs.

Your volunteering will always be most valuable if you match what you offer with what local people and groups need.
When implementing your programme, you must also consider employees skills and attributes.

Think carefully about how their abilities can provide the most value.

Adopt a holistic approach

Research suggests that a holistic approach to corporate volunteering works best.

It makes sense to be involved with a variety of different volunteering options, from one-off team activities to ongoing volunteering by individuals.

Having this approach gives you the opportunity to reach a wider audience as a business and tends to be better accepted by employees.
You can take this approach while remaining focussed and true to your goals as a business.

A good example of this is our activities at Blooming Haus.

We work with the Woodland Trust and The National Forest to support tree-planting programmes.

And we support Buglife in their insect protection work.

These activities are diverse, but they fall under the sustainability umbrella that we're so passionate about.

4. Developing an Employer-Supported Volunteering Programme

When you introduce ESV into your business, you should have a planned programme in place.

Your starting point should be developing a policy so that all expectations are understood by everyone involved.
Your policy should include the following:

- A definition of volunteering
- Which volunteering opportunities you're happy to support as a business
- Whether the business provides time off for volunteering and how much time is allowed
- How to find volunteering opportunities and whether they will be sought by the organisation or individuals
- A definition of the role of a volunteer and how it differs from the role of an employee
- Expectations regarding employee behavior while volunteering
- Procedures if employees have any complaints about the volunteering experience

5. Volunteering Opportunities that Benefit the Environment

If you understand why volunteering is important for your business and want inspiration regarding appropriate activities, we can help.

Why not spend some time protecting and preserving the environment for future generations?

Three perfect volunteering activities in this area are:

- Tree planting
- Planting community gardens
- Keeping the environment clean

Tree planting opportunities in the UK

Threats to woodland and wildlife continue to increase.

They face challenges from various sources, including:

- Pollution
- Inappropriate development
- Tree diseases and pests
- Climate change

In the case of climate change and pollution, they damage and destroy trees, then a lack of trees leads to more issues with climate change and pollution.

So, a vicious circle is created.

To overcome this situation, volunteering to plant trees or participating in tree-planting programmes helps alleviate climate change and improves air quality.

This journal entry looks at the subject in more detail.

"Do Trees Improve Air Quality in Urban Areas?"

We fund trees to be planted in the names of our clients.

To do this, we work with organisations such as The National Forest.

So, our unique and breathtaking floral creations help to fund the naturally beautiful world around us.
Flowers by Blooming Haus
If we work with you on floral engineering for your business, we'll fund a tree to be planted each year of our collaboration.

So you can benefit from the services of top London luxury floral engineers and help with tree planting efforts in the UK.

Planting Community Gardens and Wildflower Meadows

Wildflowers feed pollinators like bees and butterflies, which carry pollen to plants allowing them to fertilise and produce flowers, fruits, and seeds.

During the summer, one acre of wildflowers containing three million flowers produces enough nectar sugar to support around 96,000 honey bees daily.

At Blooming Haus, we know how valuable pollinators and other insects are, so we're working with Buglife, as mentioned earlier.

You can help insects and other wildlife by choosing volunteering opportunities for your business that involve planting community gardens and wildflower meadows.
Community gardens aren't just valuable to wildlife.

They also benefit people in the community by providing them with physical activities and healthy food.

You can choose to start your own community garden project to benefit people in the area around your business.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) advises how to do this.

You can also offer the services of your employees to help out at community gardens or wildflower meadow projects in the local area.

Cleaning the local environment

The government provides advice to make sure your business isn't polluting the environment.

You can take this a step further by embracing volunteering opportunities that make the environment around your business premises a lot cleaner.

Keep Britain Tidy works with businesses and local people to make a collective impact.

You can find more information about this on the organisation's website.
Every item of rubbish that's collected and taken away doesn't endanger birds or other wildlife.

So, anything volunteers do is vital.

Choosing to clean your local environment as a volunteering project for your business protects wildlife and makes the area a better place for people to live in.

Want to Join the Discussion About Why Volunteering is Important for Your Business?

Have we shown you why volunteering is important for your business and inspired you to get involved?

We hope we have.

And we'd love to hear how you'll take volunteering forward in your business.

Tell us your plans in the comments.

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