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Small Business Digest


Offering Company-Sponsored Volunteer Programs Appeals To Higher Quality, Younger Staff

Some experts argue that offering volunteer programs can help to attract younger, brighter workers with higher expectations.

Recent research shows that two out of three younger workers, ages 18 to 26, seek out employers who sponsor or support volunteerism and service. 

Yet, the same research -- the 2007 Volunteer Impact Study -- reveals a significant gap between what these coveted, young employees want and what most companies do: Roughly two-thirds of organizations offer no opportunities for workers to volunteer their time and talent to help others.

According to Karlin Sloan, a nationally known executive coach and leadership consultant, the more opportunities a company offers in this area, the more likely they are to draw more responsible younger employes.

She is the author of "Smarter, Faster, Better: Strategies for Effective, Enduring, and Fulfilling Leadership" (Jossey-Bass, $24.95).  Sloan, founder and CEO of Karlin Sloan & Company, works with organizations from Jose Cuervo to the United Nations.  She also remains widely recognized for her counsel to companies in and around New York City following the attacks of 9/11.

Sloan's key messages are that balancing business productivity and social responsibility is not a workplace fad -- especially to younger employees.  Armed with fresh research and corporate case studies, she shows why organizations who "give back" are four times more likely to recruit and retain today's sought-after young talent.  Other ideas and insights:

  • Ten hot service projects that have younger workers on fire
  • The do's and don'ts of corporate responsibility (or how to walk the walk and talk the talk)
  • Why service and sustainability are good for the community -- and the bottom line
  • How smart companies are using volunteerism to grow younger employees' skills and strengths.
  • The latest trends in hip, socially minded HR departments -- from cool new "carrots" to out-of-the-box best practices

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