Why Your Boss Should Give You More Time to Travel, and Pay For It

Mark Horoszowski

Mark is the Co-founder of MovingWorlds.org, a global platform connecting people who want to volunteer their expertise with social impact organizations.

Escape your cubicle

Every month, 2 million Americans quit their job to find something new*. The leading reason? Not enough opportunities.

While many look to job-jumping as a way to gain new experiences and grow, it also has setbacks. The grass is not always greener. So instead of jumping, I’m proposing a happy medium: take time to engage in meaningful travel by volunteering your professional skills overseas, and have your boss pay for it. Research shows it’ll be a good investment for both parties, here are some statistics proving that:

90

Percentage of companies that saw a drop in employee turnover after implementing international corporate volunteering programs.1

87

Percentage of employees who feel more loyal to their company if it supports a cause.2

53

Percentage of working professionals who state that the ability to make an impact is essential to on-the-job happiness.3

15

Number of percentage points drop in turnover that Benefit Group, a US investment firm, found just three years after implementing an ICV [international corporate volunteering] program (from 22% turnover to 7%).4

2X

Multiple of likelihood that an employee will stay with its employer if it supports a cause (or causes).2

 

Why does international volunteering benefit your employer?

Leadership

90% of participants highlight international volunteer programs as the “best leadership development program”, “helped develop skills to complete day jobs”, and are “more likely to complete career at [current] company”5

Innovation

“Global volunteering develops people in a remarkable way; it is truly transformative… It is an investment in innovation”6

Learning

A recent study from George Washington University found that beyond “stimulating new insights”, international corporate volunteer “programs are a better investment than businesses school leadership programs, both in terms of cost and diversity of learning.”7

Engagement

Research shows that more engaged employees are more productive. They are more profitable, more customer-focused, safer and more likely to withstand the temptation to leave the organization.8

Productivity

“For companies where employees were more engaged than not, their profitability jumped by 16%, general productivity was 18% higher than other companies, customer loyalty was 12% higher, and quality increased by 60%.”9

 

Do companies really pay their employees to travel?

Definitely.

According to the Society of Human Resource Professionals, 20% of employers give their employees paid time off to volunteer.11 Some small companies, like FullContact and Moz, even pay their employees extra to take vacation10.

At MovingWorlds.org, we help people find the best place to volunteer their skills, and we are seeing more and more professionals come to us while on paid sabbatical; using their time off to get ahead. Some are even engaging in service-based learning instead of formal education channels, and more and more companies are turning to international corporate volunteering programs as a way to reap the benefits listed above.

So if you want a small break from work so that you can see more of the world and develop yourself, volunteering your skills can be your ticket. If you want to talk about it, let me know – I do free 30 min conversations with people that want to use their skills for good!

 

 


Resources
*Grow America: http://learn.growam.com/jobs-research/
1: 1998 Points of Light Study. http://www.icvonline.org/featured/why/why-corporate/
2,7: International Corporate Volunteerism: Measuring Value. http://icvonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Measuring-Value-GWU-Capstone-Report-June-2012.pdf.
3: Net Impact Talent Report: “What workers want in 2012”. https://netimpact.org/learning-resources/research/what-workers-want.
4: Reported by Benefit Group (http://www.tbgco.com/) on Center of Excellence for International Corporate Volunteering. http://www.icvonline.org/featured/what/what-is-icv/.
5: Corporate presentation from Stan Litow, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of IBM’s Foundation, at 2012 Business Civics Leadership Center Conference. Reference of IBM’s Global Service Corps (http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/corporateservicecorps/index.html).
6: Corporate presentation from Laura Asiala, former Director of Corporate Citizenship at Dow Corning at 2012 Business Civics Leadership Center Conference.
7: See #2 above.
8: Gallup Q12 Meta-Analysis on Employee Engagement. http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/161459/engagement-work-effect-performance-continues-tough-economic-times.aspx . Gallup, Inc.
9: Realized Worth report “The business case for Corporate Volunteering” http://www.openspaceslearning.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/RWs-Business-Case-for-Corporate-Volunteering.pdf
10: FullContact bog: http://www.fullcontact.com/blog/paid-paid-vacation/
11: Society of Human Resource Professionals: http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Articles/Documents/13-0245%202013_EmpBenefits_FNL.pdf

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