April 7-13 is National Volunteer Week, an annual event celebrated by the Points of Light organization, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. It’s a good time to talk about why it’s always a good idea to offer employees volunteer opportunities at least once in the year. Here are the three key benefits:

  1. Mental health – Volunteering counteracts the effects of stress, anger, depression, and anxiety, and is associated with greater longevity and reduced risk of heart disease, even slowing the progression of some types of dementia like Alzheimer’s.
  2. Physical health – Studies show that people who volunteer have lower mortality rates than people who do not. Volunteers are likely to walk more and find everyday tasks easier, contributing to overall lower blood pressure and creating a net positive effect on physical health.
  3. Social skills – Volunteering also builds self-confidence and helps train important life skills like empathy and self-awareness. People who volunteered also reported feeling happier and having more lasting social bonds and friendships.

The benefits of volunteering have always translated well to the workplace. In addition to increasing engagement among staff you’ll be helping out your local communities where they need it the most, which is what makes it a great win-win to include in your employee recognition efforts.

Visit the Points of Light website for more information about National Volunteer Week.