Today’s professionals are also very attuned to aligning their work with their values. This is even more pronounced with the younger generations in the workforce, Gen Z and millennials. According to a recent Ernst & Young survey, almost two-thirds of Gen Z participants said it was “very or extremely important to work for an employer that shares their values.” The latest global Ranstad Workmonitor Report also found that almost half of younger generations said they “wouldn’t accept a job with an organization whose values didn’t align with theirs on social and environmental issues.” Employers not currently taking notice of these undeniable trends risk seeing their ranks depleted by the Great Upgrade.

How, then, can employers not just talk about their values but also take tangible, meaningful actions that show their employees and their communities that they are serious about making an impact? How can employers create opportunities for team members to develop existing skills, build new ones, and create lasting connections with colleagues, all proven solutions for employee retention? Skills-based volunteering.

Activating your greatest asset—the talents of your people–in support of community organizations through a skills—based volunteer program can boost professional development and morale, which favorably impacts retention rates. This is evidenced by a study from Benevity Engagement, which reported that turnover dropped more than 50 percent in employee groups most deeply connected to their companies’ volunteering efforts.

Even as some employers hold off on large in-person gatherings and projects, many are effectively executing various virtual skills-based service models ranging from intensive one-day flash consulting or pitch competition-style events to longer-term consulting projects spanning several months. These skills-based programs deliver much-needed strategic solutions to nonprofits navigating critical infrastructure challenges, foster employee engagement and provide unique avenues for volunteers to learn new skills and advance existing skillsets.

While all skills-based service models offer tangible results, long-term team consulting programs provide the most significant talent gains. This approach to skills-based volunteering is uniquely integrated into a company’s talent and leadership development initiatives, where employees are selected to participate in a program as a way to enhance a particular set of executive, leadership, or functional skills. We believe this model offers employees and nonprofits the most long-term value from a skills-based volunteer experience.

Read the full article about skills-based volunteering by Tessa Vithayathil at PhilanTopic.