The following content is by KYNDHUB. KYNDHUB is a member of B:CIVIC.

This article was originally published on June 2, 2016


What do your corporate wellness programs look like? Do you have challenges to count steps? Weight loss challenges? Maybe everyone is having their blood pressure checked and going to doctor for check-ups. Does everyone go out and walk at lunch? Have you replaced the vending machines with healthy options? Maybe you have a yoga room?

These are important, no doubt, but are you missing something? Not just something, but something that has so many far reaching benefits that you maybe didn’t event know it mattered to wellness?

Do your wellness programs include a volunteering program? Yep, volunteering. When a corporate volunteer program is built the right way, it has tremendous wellness benefits.

  • 94% of people who volunteer say volunteering improves their mood.
  • 80% of people who volunteer say they have better control over their mental health.
  • 78% of people who volunteer say it lowers their stress levels

That is just the start!  Volunteer has a positive impact on both mental and physical wellness. People who volunteer regularly at 10x more likely to be healthy!!  TEN. TIMES. That has a tremendous impact on wellness programs.

But, there is a wrong way to build a program with wellness as the primary goal.

First, do not consider your annual “Day of Giving” as a volunteer program. When employees feel pressured to be involved you can actually create a negative impact on wellness. Next, do not require them to do “x” number of hour. Again, the same thinking applies.  Last, do not choose a nonprofit or a cause that your company supports and expect your employees to support that one cause.

Now the do’s.

Do empower them to give when and how they want. Everyone has different experiences that tend to create passion for unique causes. Give them the power to give their time when and how they want to. Ideally, you would support this empowerment with a pool of Volunteer Time Off (VTO) which allows them the freedom to spend their time to get involved without getting too much into their home life.

Do encourage regular participation in whatever cause they are passionate about.  When people volunteer once a month, the impact of the wellness benefits grow exponentially.

Do make it social. Encourage, don’t mandate that they volunteer with coworkers, friend and family.  75% of people surveyed said they volunteer because someone they know is doing it. Give them the tools to engage with one another and make volunteering fun and social but do not mandate that social structure.

Volunteering, when done well, can have a tremendous impact on your wellness programs.

All of that may sound overwhelming, but we can help!! Even if you just want to talk more about it, reach out! We love this stuff!