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Written by: El Prior

How good deeds create a happier workforce

We’re taking a deep-dive into how businesses can utilise the famous helper’s high to create a happier workforce.

Wellbeing is at the top of workplace concerns. According to a report from CIPD, seven in ten (70%) of HR respondents agree that employee wellbeing is on senior leaders’ agendas.

According to the same report, half of organisations (51%) take a strategic approach to employee wellbeing.

There is a clear discrepancy between concern, and action.

Perhaps this comes from a lack of resources, or just not knowing where to start when it comes to boosting happiness at work.

It is far easier than you think to get started on your journey to a happy workforce.


Firstly, what is the helper’s high?

You’ve surely felt the buzz after sending a ‘Get well soon’ card, or rounding up your bill and donating 47p to charity.

That’s because doing good deeds releases a happy little cocktail of hormones – endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. Accurately coined, the helper’s high.

And, it goes further than just a few butterflies in the proverbial tum.

Oxytocin helps lower blood pressure and improve our overall heart-health, while serotonin calms your qualms, and helps you just chill out, man.

And who wouldn’t want a workforce of free-flowing good vibes?


So, how can businesses help employees achieve this sought-after buzz?

Integrating an employer-supported volunteering programme

Employer-supported volunteering (ESV) gives employees the opportunity to volunteer during working hours.

Volunteering hosts a variety of benefits, including increased production of ‘happy hormones’, a sense of purpose and community, lowered stress and contributions towards a better society.

According to CIPD:

“ESV’s allow employees to build connections with their local communities and give back to society while working on issues they feel passionate about. They also gain the opportunity to develop key soft skills in areas such as coaching, leadership and organisational abilities. Further benefits have been found to include:

  • Boosted communication.
  • Increased confidence.
  • Team working.
  • Creativity.
  • Resilience.
  • Gaining an overall sense of fulfilment.”

However, many have criticised ESV’s as ineffective.

Often businesses don’t understand how to best utilise their team’s time and skills.

Impact Experts provide businesses with a consultative approach to their volunteering schemes. This allows companies to tailor their support, and deliver the maximum amount of impact to charities and causes.

Platforms like the Pledge Marketplace also make it easier for businesses to offer their time, skills and resources. This removes the admin of finding charities, and organising events, which often prevents businesses from taking action.

Adopting an impact-focused, employee recognition scheme

Employee recognition schemes provide your team with an opportunity to share the good deeds they’ve completed in and outside of work.

Rewarding your team for doing good can increase morale at work, attract top talent and boost retention.

According to Great Place to Work, employee recognition ‘helps employees see that their company values them and their contributions to the success of their team and the company overall.’

Not only does it host benefits for employees, but it also provides businesses into an insight with their impact on the world. This contributes towards social impact reports (SIRs) and ESG / CSR measuring.

Software like The Social Impact Dashboard make it easier for companies to recognise their employees efforts, by reporting the information in one place.

In conclusion, improving employee wellbeing is a top priority for many businesses, but there can be a disconnect between concern and action.

Promoting the helper’s high through ESV’s and employee recognition schemes can increase the flow of happy hormones, ultimately creating a happier workplace.

With the benefits of these programmes being clear, businesses must consider implementing them to improve the wellbeing of their workforce.


And now, the most important bit…

If you’re passionate about employee wellbeing, but are still stumped on where to start, we can help.

To find out more about how we’re shaking up volunteering in the name of good, or helping businesses track their acts of kindness, head to our website.