When you bake volunteering into company culture, engaged employees and high performance will follow. While some may say this is a bit of an overstatement, employees do have a more positive view of companies after participating in their volunteer programs — and these days top-performing companies are evaluated on their community engagement just as they are on business performance.
Looking for a company that has fostered a seamless integration of volunteerism and business? You found it! Cornerstone OnDemand, behind the hard work of our own Manager of Engagement, Rachel Light, puts community involvement at the forefront of its company culture and looks to provide just as much value to employees, by aligning their skills and interests with specific volunteer opportunities, as it does to the community.
Bountiful Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteering starts at the beginning of a new hire's career with Cornerstone, introducing it as an essential element of the corporate identity. During new hire orientation, employees participate in a project with the Boys & Girls Club - designing, decorating and building skateboards. After this initial project, employees have endless opportunities to lend a helping hand in a variety of ways:
- Mentor a middle school student on a weekly basis through our deep relationship with the nonprofit Spark (we have matched over 67 mentors this semester).
- Participate in company anniversary projects, ranging from certifying as a Red Cross first responder to donating business clothes to a local shelter so the residents can use them to interview and engage in the workforce to working with Portraits of Hope to beautifying the Veterans Association of Greater Los Angeles.
- After three years with the organization, Employees are eligible to apply for two weeks of paid time off to volunteer with the strategic partner of their choice. We encourage the team to focus their volunteer efforts in one of three ways: Education, Workforce Development and Disaster Relief.
- One may apply for Corporate Sponsorship funding so that it can be donated to an organization with which they volunteer.
- Every year at our Santa Monica headquarters, we do a collection for Big Sunday’s End of the Month Club – collecting items that have been requested by the food pantries based on their needs.
6 Ways Volunteering Leads to Engagement
Cornerstone OnDemand provides a range of volunteer opportunities for employees because the company sees the value for employees and, in return, the company. How does volunteering make employees feel more engaged?
- They are more confident about their abilities because they can clearly see the impact on someone’s life.
- They benefit from improved teamwork and critical thinking skills.
- They manage their time better, so they can balance work responsibilities and volunteer goals.
- They let loose and embrace their inner kid, especially through the Spark program.
- They come away with a more open mind to new and different situations.
- They connect and network with professionals and leaders while simultaneously experiencing a sense of company culture and community.
Need proof of this added value? All employees who participated in the Spark mentorship program said that they are proud that the company volunteers in this way. And 84 percent said participating in Spark improved their motivation for their job.
It doesn’t stop there. Employees recognize that volunteering is helping them too. Take Domonic Prince, a Quality Assurance Analyst: he said the Spark program was a self-growth opportunity for him. “I learned a lot about myself and I am glad to have helped [my mentee] do what he needs to do to focus on school and even his extra-curricular interests. I would love to work with him again."
“Giving back to the community definitely makes me feel great about myself and my company,” says Ravneet Kaur, a Quality Assurance Analyst. “I am very thankful to my company Cornerstone OnDemand for giving us all this opportunity to volunteer and experience such amazing stuff.”
Volunteering isn’t just about helping someone else, in fact the impact we’ve seen it have on our employees, their ability to make change and be changed and their renewed sense of self is incomparable. Take Eduardo Paniagua, a member of the CSOD sales team, who offered: "It was a great experience. I feel I impacted him in a great way and I think he did the same for me."
Cornerstone OnDemand is an example of a company that is doing it right by opening their doors and making volunteering a vibrant part of the company culture. What other companies are going above and beyond so that their employees can give back to their communities? Let us know in the comments below.