Two Tips to Engage Front-Line Team Members in Skills-Based Volunteerism, by Common Impact

Last week, we shared best practices to engage your remote and global team members in volunteerism. Today we are excited to share three more tips on how to best engage front-line team members in skills-based volunteerism.

The Opportunity: Front-line corporate team members, such as those in customer service roles or based in call centers, often have high turnover due to the stress of their jobs. Engaging this group in skilled volunteering not only gives them an opportunity for talent development, but also makes them feel more connected to their colleagues, both of which can lead to better employee retention rates and increased workplace happiness. Front-line employees also have incredibly relevant customer service skillsets that translate to nonprofit sector needs, including cultivating donor relationships and training nonprofit client-facing staff in customer service best practices.

The Challenge: These employees are often exempt, hourly employees, making them a challenging group to engage in volunteering and get manager approval to complete this work “on the clock.” Additionally, companies might not realize how this particular skillset can translate to a value-add for the nonprofit sector.

Here are two best practices that can help overcome these challenges and maximize the benefits of utilizing skills-based volunteering to engage front-line team members:

  1. Design a Flexible Program: Developing flexible skills-based volunteering programs that offer virtual participation and have low time commitment is crucial to engaging front line employees. The ability for employees to complete the work “off the clock” or in a short timeframe will increase the likelihood of participation and manager approval.


  1. Translate Corporate Skills to Meet Nonprofit Needs: Front-line employees, including front-line managers, have valuable customer service skills that translate to nonprofit needs. Communicating how these individual’s skillsets can support a nonprofit’s capacity building needs can help employees feel confident about participating in a skills-based volunteer project and their ability to make an impact.

Interested in learning about how to engage decentralized employees at your company? Join our session at the upcoming Charities@Work Summit in NYC on Thursday, June 28th to hear from industry experts at JPMorgan, Marriott International, John Hancock, and Wells Fargo about how you can utilize skills-based volunteering to engage global, remote and front-line employees.