If you run a business, it might be worth your time to introduce volunteering opportunities as the latest company perk. It will not only improve the skill set of your employees, but also promote health and wellness.
The survey of more than 3,300 U.S. adults reveals that 76% of U.S. adults who volunteer say volunteering makes them feel physically healthier, and 78% report that volunteering lowers levels of stress, which results in feeling better than adults who do not volunteer.
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The study reveals four key benefits of volunteering that make a positive impact on people’s health.
1. Health: volunteers say that they feel better — physically, mentally and emotionally
2. Stress: volunteering helps people manage and lower their stress levels
3. Purpose: volunteers feel a deeper connection to their community and to others
4. Engagement: volunteers are more informed health care consumers and more engaged and involved in managing their health
The findings also illustrate that employers benefit from employees who volunteer in terms of better employee health and in professional-skills development that employees use in the workplace. Employers can expect lower health care costs and higher productivity from employees who volunteer. Volunteers in the study report lower stress levels, which lends to higher levels of engagement.
In addition, volunteering can develop employees’ work skills, which benefits both employer and employee. Study respondents say volunteering helps them build teamwork and time-management skills which fosters stronger relationships with colleagues and supports professional networking.
Lastly, volunteer activities lead to stronger positive feelings toward an employer when volunteer programs are supported in the workplace.
“These findings show that the benefits of volunteering help strengthen communities and have real, measurable health benefits for the people who volunteer,” says Kate Rubin, UnitedHealth Group vice president of social responsibility.
“Employers enjoy the benefits of physically and mentally healthier employees; those that support volunteering programs in the workplace see added benefits that drive directly to their bottom line.”