Employee Volunteerism: The Unexpected Benefit of Giving

Everywhere you turn, someone is promising to cure your leadership blues. There are airport books, e-books, apps and tools. There are consultants who will train you, teach you, score you and bore you. There are conferences, workshops, webinars and retreats. A 2014 article in McKinsey Quarterly highlights that companies in the U.S. spend more than $14 billion annually on leadership development. Despite all this activity, according to the 2016 Gallup “State of the American Workplace” report, more than two thirds of employees are disengaged. Like many professionals, you are probably working hard to address this pressing challenge. Employee Volunteerism is a powerful leadership development opportunity that you may not have considered.


An employee volunteering program will not only benefit your employees, your organization and your community, it can provide a great opportunity for leadership development.

Every employee who volunteers brings something different to the table. For some, it may be their first time at bat. Others may have decades of community service under their belt. You can divide your employees into three stages along the journey of volunteerism: tourists, travellers and guides. While your tourists and travellers have the potential to become great leaders, it’s your guides who can really lead the charge and help drive leadership development through volunteerism. By finding, elevating and training your guides to become official volunteer leaders, you can tap into a passion and enthusiasm unrivalled elsewhere in your company.

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Corey Diamond

Written By

Corey Diamond is the executive director of Efficiency Canada, a national policy organization housed at Carleton University.


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