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Volunteer Time Off

Volunteer Time Off (VTO) is an employer-provided perk allowing paid leave for employees to dedicate time to charitable causes, fostering a culture of giving within the workplace.

  • What is volunteer time off (VTO)?

  • Implementing volunteer time off

What is volunteer time off (VTO)?

Volunteer time off (VTO) is an employer benefit that enables employees to take paid leave (usually a few days per year) and spend this time volunteering with a charity or non-profit organization. Unlike other types of paid leave, such as annual, sick, and parental leave, it’s rarely a legal requirement.

VTO can be beneficial for several reasons. For employees, it:

  • Provides a platform to support causes they're passionate about, without having to worry about lost wages or time constraints

  • Fosters personal development, enhances emotional intelligence, and builds new skills

  • Contributes to an improved sense of work-life balance, resulting in decreased stress levels, increased job satisfaction, and an overall boost in morale and productivity

VTO is also advantageous for businesses. As well as helping demonstrate your commitment to social responsibility, it can be a useful strategic tool for attracting and retaining top talent. This is particularly true with younger generations, who place a high value on corporate social responsibility. Employees in these age groups often want to work for companies that align with their values, and VTO is a great way to advertise that you share these values.

VTO can have a significant positive impact on company culture, too. When employees see their colleagues and leaders taking time off to volunteer, it fosters a strong sense of camaraderie and shared purpose. And when employees volunteer together, it can also serve as a team-building exercise, cultivating stronger relationships and improving teamwork.

Another bonus is that VTO is generally inexpensive to implement. It doesn't require a significant financial outlay, making it a cost-effective option with a potentially significant return.

Implementing volunteer time off

Your company’s policy on VTO should be clear, and widely communicated to all your employees. They should understand what it is, why the company is offering it, and how they can use it.

You should also make it as easy as possible for employees to use their VTO. This could mean offering a list of vetted organizations they can volunteer with, or even organizing company-wide volunteer days. The key is to remove as many barriers as possible to encourage participation.

Finally, recognize and celebrate your employees' volunteer efforts. This could be as simple as a “Thank You” email or a mention in a public company channel. This makes your employees feel appreciated and reinforces your company's commitment to giving back.

Expert advice
In a nutshell
  • Benefits of VTO: Helps employees grow their skills, feel good about community involvement, and find a healthy work-life balance. Helps businesses demonstrate social responsibility, boosts employee morale, and strengthens company culture.

  • Employers can implement VTO: By communicating a clear policy to employees about VTOs, providing a list of vetted organizations, and fixing company-wide volunteer days.

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