How do you get employees involved – and excited— about corporate volunteering? For employees at BKD, all HR Manager Tammy May had to do was ask one simple question: what are you interested in?
That answer came in 2015, when United Way of Central Indiana connected them to a community need — finding tutors for students at Avondale Meadows Academy. The passion? “Surprisingly, maybe not for accountants, they wanted to tutor math,” Tammy says with a laugh. The tutoring program launched with 16 BKD volunteers, each helping three fourth grade students in math from September through December.
Matt Malloy and Josh Vander Missen, both Senior Associates at BKD, are tutors for the program and know what a large impact the small group is making. “The first year, a student wrote out a thank you letter because his math scores went from below average to above average. Most of these kids are a year behind or more, so it was nice to see the satisfaction and results,” Matt says.
Although the program focuses on math tutoring, Josh and Matt do much more than that. “The kids just light up. We don’t just help them, we listen to them. It’s not strictly math tutoring, it’s making them feel special and letting them be heard,” Tammy says. Josh and Matt both say their favorite part is connecting with the students and developing a relationship beyond tutor and pupil.
The tutoring program is much more than “corporate volunteering” to Josh and Matt. It’s a way to connect to their community and other employees, while helping others and themselves. “It builds relationships with the people you are helping but also who you are helping with,” Matt says. “It’s a great way to stay invested in your job. If you’re invested in community service, corporate volunteering is a great way to lock into your company and feel like you want to stay there,” Josh adds.
BKD knows from experience that corporate volunteering is a worthwhile investment. The students at Avondale are seeing their math skills improve, and BKD employees are feeling more connected to their community and their workplace. While helping build a stronger community, BKD is also building stronger employees: according to Tammy, volunteering, “creates the type of employee we all want. It helps them develop character and become more humble, helpful and understanding.”
Is your business looking for more ways to get your employees involved in the community through volunteering? You can create your own formula for corporate volunteering success just like BKD did.
Start now with this great United Way resource that connects employees to volunteer projects that align with their interests and passions.