As more employees look to work at organizations that embed Purpose at their core, employee engagement around social and environmental initiatives becomes even more critical for leading brands. In fact, 71 percent of employees say they want their company to provide opportunities for them to help make a positive impact. In response, companies are designing new approaches to engagement, from challenging employees to achieve sustainability goals to co-creating campaigns around employee passion areas. Now, one company is giving employees the opportunity to make an impact – right from their own desks.
This week, outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland shared its newest approach to employee volunteerism – which can be completed in just around a half hour. Through a partnership with TutorMate, a nonprofit focused on teaching students to read, Timberland employees are educating at-risk children on reading, vocabulary and comprehension skills – right from their own desks. The program matches tutors with students for weekly, 30-minute one-on-one sessions on the TutorMate online platform. During each session, tutors and students share a screen and read online stories together. Timberland employee, Katie Guest, described both the impact and the convenience of the program, “I loved forming a friendship with my student and helping her read through this innovative program. And it was so convenient to be able to do right from my desk.” This effort also ladders up to the brand’s Path of Service™ program, which has offered employees paid time to serve communities since 1992, including up to 40 paid service hours each year for full time employees.
As the workforce becomes more wired, shorter, at-the-desk options are sought-after solutions for making an impact. Sixty-three percent of Americans seek micro-volunteerism opportunities – this number spikes to 76 percent among Millennials. Companies that can provide diverse options for volunteerism help to create opportunities for employees to participate in ways that work best for their skill sets, schedules and personal preferences.