The acronym VTO can actually refer to either voluntary time off or volunteer time off. These are different leave policies that businesses use.
Volunteer time off refers to the practice of allowing employees to volunteer in their communities while retaining their pay; it is a form of paid time off (PTO). Voluntary time off, on the other hand, is a policy where full time employees can take unpaid leave without losing their employment status or benefits.
In this article, we will focus on volunteer time off and the many benefits it holds for your business, especially around the holidays.
Benefits of Volunteer Time Off (VTO) for Your Business
As mentioned, offering this employee benefit will confer your business with many advantages. Some of these are:
It Helps Retain Top Talents
Companies offering volunteer time off have a higher chance of retaining their top talents than those who don’t. This is especially true of millennial employees who do a lot of charitable and volunteer work. By enabling them to fulfil their values, you demonstrate to them that your company is where they belong. Thus, you will reduce your company’s turnover rate and better retain your workforce.
It Boosts Business Image
Another benefit your company will derive if you offer VTO is a better and improved image. When you encourage your employees to volunteer, you show people in the community that your business is about more than making money. You demonstrate to them that you care and are willing to do your part in bettering the community.
It Encourages Soft Skills Development
When you run a VTO program, you will be encouraging employees to develop soft skills that will improve your workforce. Through their volunteer efforts, your employees will cultivate better collaboration, empathy, leadership, and accountability skills, among others. This will naturally be carried over to the workplace where they will be able to relate better with each other.
The result is a more vibrant, healthier, and productive work environment.
It Attracts Top Talent
A Deloitte study discovered that companies who enable their employees to volunteer their time gain recruiting advantages over those that don’t. The study’s results showed that almost 2/3 of millennials preferred to work at businesses that offer VTO as opposed to those that don’t.
It Increases Productivity
Providing your employees with paid volunteer hours will make them feel fulfilled. This is to be expected, as they will believe they are working with a company that cares, and that they are making a difference. Due to this fulfilment, they will be inclined to put more effort into their work and, thus, increase productivity.
Tips for Implementing VTO Policies
Implementing a VTO program comes with some of its own costs and challenges. To help you minimize the negative aspects of adopting a VTO policy, here are some tips.
Have a Schedule
Volunteer time off (VTO) can take a toll on businesses by leaving them understaffed, especially if they are small. To resolve this, you should have a schedule on hand that stipulates each employee’s time off. By doing this, you will be safeguarding your business and ensuring each employee’s volunteering inclination is satisfied.
Specify Organizations for VTO
While there are a million and one causes your employees can volunteer for, it might be better if you specify an organization or cause. You can use this as a means of furthering your corporate social responsibility and have them volunteer with a cause/organization your business is affiliated with. This allows you to accomplish two goals at once: work on your CSR and fulfil your employees’ need to make a change.
A recent Deloitte survey discovered that, in the wake of the pandemic, more millennials (and Gen Zs) have become sympathetic toward those who have fallen on hard times. These generations – nearly three-fourth of them – plan to do their part in improving their community.
As a business owner, you stand to gain a lot if you give these individuals an outlet to engage in volunteerism. VTO is a human resources policy that provides this outlet, and we encourage you to make the most of it. If you have a new employee orientation program, it’s the perfect time to introduce your new hires to the VTO opportunities in your organization.