Corporate Citizenship and Retaining Employees

December 12, 2019 | United Way Team

Learn more about how United Way of East Central Iowa can help companies connect with employees through volunteerism.

In 2012, Points of Light launched its first Civic 50 list: A corporate citizenship initiative that recognizes the 50 most community-minded companies in the nation. This list includes companies committed to using their “time, talent, and resources to drive social impact in their businesses and communities."[1]

Why should this be important to companies in our community?

Supporting employee volunteerism is core to retaining employees. Employee Benefit News (EBN) reports that it costs employers 33% of a worker's annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves. Employees leave for a variety of reasons, many of which tie directly to employee’s lack of connection. Lack of relationships and friendships and overall corporate culture[2] can all be improved through ongoing volunteer activities. This can be a catalyst to a retention strategy potentially saving employers $1,000-$6,000.

So, how can we keep employees and build volunteerism within companies?

UWECI_Workplace Volunteer Council Logo - 4C-V

United Way of East Central Iowa’s (UWECI) Workplace Volunteer Council (WVC) helps member companies learn more about establishing, growing and sustaining effective workplace volunteer programs. Over the last few months, the WVC has been learning more about traits, best practices, and tips of Civic 50 companies. At last month’s meeting, Toyota Financial Services, a local Civic 50 company, came in to discuss why it is important for them to continue to support employee volunteerism.

Toyota leadership strives to support employee volunteer efforts. And, in doing so, has seen improvement in ways they may not have anticipated. “We feel employees build leadership and project management skills through volunteering,” Tracy Bennett, Executive Assistant at Toyota Financial Services stated. 


“We also support employees serving on nonprofit boards monetarily. If an employee participates on a board, and the nonprofit is education focused, we donate $5,000 to that organization. If it is does not have an education-based mission, $2,500 is given.”

Although not every company is able give thousands of dollars, many companies are involved in efforts to support local nonprofits. With more than 1,200 volunteers from various companies in the ICR Corridor, UWECI’s Day of Caring has been a great opportunity for businesses to give back while building employee relationships.

Not sure where to begin your company’s volunteer journey?

Whether it’s a large scale, all company activity or a small 1-hour backpack fill, UWECI’s Volunteer Engagement team is here to help connect you with done-in-a-day or ongoing volunteer activities. The team can assist with determines what works best for the company and the employees.



[2] Top 10 Reasons Why Employees Quit Their Jobs, The Balance Careers,