Giving Compass' Take:

• This post by Dr. Lori Gore-Green discusses how private businesses can encourage more employee volunteering through more awareness and engagement.

• This is not just about checking a box in Corporate Social Responsibility; companies should find a way to embed altruism into their culture and offer as many options as possible.

• Here's more on why volunteering is so important at the end of the year.

Volunteering is good for people’s health. Research has shown that those who help their community feel less depressed and have a lower chance of developing age-related illnesses later in life. In addition, employees who get to spend time with their families are notoriously happier. Giving people the chance to bring family members along to help out with projects increases their quality home time. It’s also a great way to strengthen your business’ role in the community. The majority of your employees don’t just work in the community, they also live there, so it makes sense to use their abilities to benefit your company’s brand while also helping others.

There are many positive ways to encourage your employees to give back. The best advice is to find out what the vulnerabilities are that hold people back and then find ways to accommodate. For many employees, time and money are major issues. Either they don’t have free time to spend outside of the office to volunteer, or they can’t afford to take a day off work to help. Either offer paid time off for hours spent volunteering or the option to volunteer during work hours.

Sometimes a lack of communication and awareness are the only obstacles. If employees don’t know about opportunities, it’s a guarantee they aren’t going to sign up for them. Make sure you advertise all upcoming projects, as well as the benefits you’re offering, by using a medium such as a newsletter, group email or flyers displayed in prominent areas.

Read the full article about getting your company more involved in community service by Dr. Lori Gore-Green at Medium.