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Workplace volunteer opportunities are important to employees and can help them feel more positive about their work experience, reveals a new survey from Deloitte. They can also help employees feel more connected to their colleagues and have a greater sense of personal fulfillment and purpose.

Led by Deloitte’s Purpose and DEI Office, the survey polled 1,000 U.S. office professionals and found the majority (95%) believe it’s important that their employer makes a positive impact in their community. The majority (87%) also consider workplace volunteer opportunities a factor in their decision to stay with their current employer or pursue a new one. These results show the pivotal role volunteerism can play in an employee’s perception of and relationship with their employer and provide key insights for organizations to consider when looking to connect with and retain talent.

“It’s no secret that the last several years have changed not only the employee experience, but also what they expect from a current or prospective employer,” said Kwasi Mitchell, Chief Purpose and DEI Officer at Deloitte. “This data clearly shows a call to action for organizations nationwide — employer-led volunteer opportunities can foster in-person connection and create opportunities for positive community impact that employees increasingly look for in the workplace.”

volunteer opportunities at work
(Photo: Adobe Stock / Syda Productions)

The survey also found that:

  • 91% of survey respondents said volunteer opportunities can have a positive impact on their overall work experience and connection to their employer.
  • Respondents who previously participated in employee volunteer programs indicated they did so to boost their sense of fulfillment and purpose (56%), strengthen their connection to their community (55%), improve their overall morale and teamwork (52%) and make them proud to work for their employer (49%).
  • Nearly half (49%) of respondents who participated in workplace volunteer programs indicated it helped them build connection with their colleagues.

“Employer-led volunteer opportunities can foster in-person connection and create opportunities for positive community impact that employees increasingly look for in the workplace.”

— Kwasi Mitchell, Chief Purpose and DEI Officer, Deloitte

Nearly all (95%) of respondents indicated it’s important to them to make a positive impact in their communities and the best way for their company to support their ability to do so is by organizing in-person opportunities with community organizations (52%), indicating a desire for more in-person connection and impact. Other ways employers can provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for their people include helping them put their professional skills to use with community organizations (45%), and providing paid time off for them to volunteer (42%).

Deloitte’s survey also indicates that participating in workplace volunteer opportunities has a ripple effect, capturing the power of workplace programs in effecting positive change. Nine in 10 (90%) respondents said their participation in workplace volunteer activities led to them participating in additional, independent volunteering activities, whether through the same organization or with other organizations within their community.

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The release of the survey comes in advance of the 25th anniversary of Deloitte’s Impact Day on June 7, 2024. The event is an annual day of service where employees come together in their communities to engage in social impact efforts that reflect Deloitte’s purpose commitments to drive progress toward a more equitable and sustainable future for all.

“Impact Day celebrates Deloitte’s year-round commitment to collectively making an impact that matters in the communities where we live and work and is part of our broader efforts to create a more equitable society,” said Dana O’Donovan, Social Impact and Monitor Institute by Deloitte Leader. “The results of our most recent research reaffirm what we at Deloitte know to be true: work is about more than just the job at hand, as employees seek out connection and the opportunity to make an impact in their communities – and employers who share those same values.”

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