Mentoring a young person. Teaching an immigrant to read English. Painting a home. Donating blood. There are hundreds of ways to give back to the community and people are eager to find ways to make a difference. But one of the biggest obstacles is the lack of time available in their daily schedules to volunteer for the programs that matter to them.
Now more than ever, companies are embracing authentic corporate responsibility and finding new ways to invest in their employees, their communities, and even beyond borders.
Volunteer Time Off (VTO) is among the benefits progressive organizations now offer. VTO allows employees to do something that makes the world a better place ” and get paid for that time. According to Snapshot 2015 by American Charities (p. 8), “nearly 60 percent of companies offer paid time off for employees to volunteer, and an additional 21 percent plan to offer release time in the next two years.”
This is a trend we can expect to grow because it attracts service-focused millennials, it boosts employee morale and productivity, builds stronger communities by helping to address social needs, and it illustrates a corporation’s values. In short ” it’s good for everyone.
At DocuTAP, VTO isn’t just an acronym. We stand by the idea that one of the greatest gifts you can give is your time. Which is why we give 16 paid hours of VTO to DocuTAP employees each year and arrange monthly group volunteer events.
The monthly events officially began in April 2016, after it became clear that so many important volunteer opportunities are available only during the workday. With additional paid hours provided by the company, employees are able to give back with fellow coworkers, friends, and family ” and feel really good about it.
“We wanted our employees to share in the effort of giving back and supporting our communities both locally and globally,” says Jen Schaefer PHR, Human Resources at DocuTAP. “VTO hours have been used as close as a few blocks away to as far as Haiti and Jamaica.”
DocuTAP volunteer events are a great chance for coworkers to take a break from their work, do something good, and have fun together. Volunteering together builds a sense of belonging and gives workers a sense of company pride.
“We encourage employees to use their VTO for things that fill their bucket. From walking dogs, painting a home, raking leaves, Christmas parties with the elderly–the list goes on and on,” says Schaefer. “Employees from different departments often volunteer together, which forms bonds and builds relationships inside and outside of DocuTAP.”
DocuTAP has partnered with many local and national organizations including Feeding South Dakota, Boys and Girls Club, Children’s Miracle Network, United Way, and Lunch is Served.
DocuTAP by the numbers:
- 484 DocuTAP volunteer hours used in 2016
- 3,855 pounds of food sorted
- 20 lunches prepared for working families
- 127 blood donations
Authentic corporate responsibility may start at the top, but when employees and staff embrace it, it becomes part of a work culture that people can be proud of. DocuTAP may be a tech company, but it’s our people, on and off the job, that make it a great place to work.