4 Ways Your Employees' Cell Phones Help Them Volunteer

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Pssst... did you know your employees are talking about you online? According to a Weber Shandwick study, 50 percent of employees post messages, pictures or videos in social media about their employer, part of a growing movement of employee activism that is opening up new opportunities for companies to engage with their employees.

Much of this social media activity and other kinds of work are conducted via mobile devices. One of many surveys finds that smartphones, tablets and other devices increases productivity and speeds decision-making and responsiveness, and more than half of those surveyed agreed that employees cannot do their jobs effectively without using their mobile devices. Mobile functionality also further enables working remotely and otherwise increases employee satisfaction.

It's safe to say that mobile and social media are fundamental to all of your employees - not just Millennials. So your corporate philanthropy program absolutely needs to be there with them.

Employee volunteers want a highly interactive, mobile and social platform that empowers them to create individual profiles, invite their colleagues to give back, invite their external network to contribute to giving campaigns, organize philanthropic opportunities within the office, give real-time feedback for volunteer opportunities, and upload photos and messages for social automation. This all feeds into what I like to call Story Capture.

While annual impact reports are crucial to the growth of corporate social responsibility programs, storytelling still takes precedence as the most impactful. Who did you help? What was at stake? How did you make a difference? All of these questions must be answered by your employees, not a PR or executive leadership team, in order to boost your triple bottom line.

Mobile technology is the ideal tool to facilitate Story Capture, which is why my company, Causecast, is further incorporating mobility into our volunteer and giving platform in 2016. As we see how companies are using the Causecast platform in the field, we've recognized the increasing importance of mobile volunteering features for employees.

Why? Here are just a few conclusions we've come to about how corporate volunteering is eased through modern mobile features:

  1. Employees benefit from a quick and easy, mobile optimized check-in option at volunteer events. Attendance and hours are automatically confirmed and tracking total participation is completely hassle-free for companies.
  2. Mobility fosters "geo-assisted" opportunity listings where employees can find the opportunities near them at any given moment.
  3. Employees can access their personal volunteer and giving profile via mobile, to view their community impact in real time.
  4. Social automation with mobile allows employees to instantly share their volunteer experience on social media, encouraging companies to create a hashtag for all of their events in order to track engagement for Story Capture.

Cutting-edge technology keeps evolving to keep pace with the explosion of interest employees have shown in volunteering, and mobility is an essential piece of this equation. I'm excited to see how our clients and others take the mobile ball and run with it this year, which we're calling "The Year of the Volunteer." I have no doubt that mobile functionality is a significant key to strengthening employee volunteer programs and making these programs a more accessible and popular perk of the overall employee experience.

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