Volunteerism and Employee Wellness

Volunteering enriches our lives in many ways. But did you know it can specifically enhance mental wellness? According to a recent study by the University of Oxford, volunteering can significantly positively impact mental health and the sense of belonging in a workplace.

“Volunteering opportunities initially appear distinct from the other interventions, but are found to improve workers’ well-being through increased sense of purpose, accomplishment, social resources and recovery (Rodell et al., 2016)” (Fleming, 2024).

The study, which involved an extensive review of various mental wellness programs, found a strong correlation between volunteering and the percentage of participants. “Volunteering also has the highest participation rates of all the programmes (Table 1), suggesting a willingness from workers to engage” (Fleming, 2024). Volunteering and social work had the most appeal to employees, suggesting that not only are the mental wellness benefits there, they are sought after.

When compared to the results of other workplace resources, like resilience and stress management training, “the volunteering results are counter to those for the psychological resource-based interventions suggest(ing) that enhancing social resources, rather than psychological skills, may be more effective for improving workers’ well-being” (Fleming, 2024).

In conclusion, “volunteering is the only type of intervention to suggest benefits for workers’ well-being” (Fleming, 2024). However, the amount of companies “that seek to enhance social resources instead of personal psychological resources are ‘remarkably’ scant (Bakker, 2023, p. 41)” (Fleming, 2024). What is your workplace doing for the mental wellness of their employees?

To learn more about incorporating volunteering, the most beneficial workplace social resource, in your company, click here or schedule a call to talk to our experts.

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