3 Ways to Motivate Your Employees to Give Back and Volunteer

As organizations increasingly incorporate philanthropy into their corporate culture and values, the onus is placed on the employees to get involved and participate in giving back to and volunteering within their communities.

In order to truly support the act of giving within your teams, your employees need to feel supported by their employers in their initiatives to contribute to their communities on behalf of your company’s culture of giving.  Here are three ways to encourage and motivate your employees to give back through volunteering and community giving


Give them the time to go out and do the work


If you want your company brand to be one of giving, then any and all activities need to happen on company time. Employers may decide to have evening or weekend events to support the community and expect their employees to give up


from their personal time in order to participate in building up both the community and the company brand.

Instead, respect your employee’s right to maintain their work/life balance by allowing your teams to take a few hours each quarter to give back to the community.

A few examples of volunteer initiatives include rounding up your various departments and organizing a garbage cleanup at a local park near your office and/or sending employees to a local elementary, high school, after-school program to contribute their knowledge and skills through mentoring, tutoring, or reading.  Here are a few links to check out – Volunteering with the City of Vancouver,  or helping out at the Greater  Vancouver Food Bank. the SPCA or the Red Cross.

Give them the resources to contribute

A few popular ways for companies to give back to those in need is to run bottle drives and other recycling projects, collect non-perishable food items to donate to their local food bank, or to host a fundraising campaign internally or externally for a specific cause.

As an alternative to these programs, provide your employees with a budget allowance to manage a giving program of their choosing. For example, instead of asking for cans to donate to a food bank, give each department a small budget to cook a hot meal together for a family in need. By providing your teams with the resources they need to give back, you are signaling that you truly believe in the importance of generosity.  The Ronald McDonald House and The Health and Home Care Society do a great job of this.

Give them the autonomy to give back how they want

Instead of micromanaging the act of giving, allow your teams to come up with creative ways to do good. It’s an excellent way for your people to take initiative, manage themselves, develop their relationships with their colleagues, and ultimately feel respected and valued by their employers.

Some examples of giving initiatives that I’ve seen success with in the past include:

  1. Putting together toiletry bags to give to those in need
  2. Stopping by a seniors’ facility to spend an hour with someone who may not receive a lot of visitors and daily interaction
  3. Selecting one local community organization close to my heart and sponsoring an event to support their overall objectives
Over to you

While giving back has its obvious benefits to those you help, it’s also important to acknowledge that the above initiatives will play an integral role in enhancing your overall organization through skill-building, team-bonding, and employee happiness.

These are a great way to help!

For more recruiting and HR tips and advice from Natasha, follow her on Instagram, connect with her on LinkedIn, and follow Career Contacts on LinkedIn.

What is the meaning of Recruitment?

Interested in learning more about what we do as Recruitment Professionals?

Recruitment is defined as the process of attracting, shortlisting, selecting and appointing suitable candidates for jobs (perm or temp) within an organization.


Advertising vacancies.


Conducting job interviews.

Performing background checks.

Reviewing application documents and credentials.



To a recruiter, Recruitment also involves showing a person why they should be interested in a job opportunity.  This happens by staying on top of advertising job opportunities and building trusting relationships with employees.  A person may not even be looking for a new job until recruiter tells them about a new job opportunity.

The first step in recruitment involves analyzing the job to identify the knowledge, skills and characteristics required for the position.

The second step is the process of attracting and screening candidates for the job.  This involves internal and external advertising as well as using recruitment agencies and their networks and experience.

What are the challenges of recruitment:

  • Shortage of qualified employees
  • Competition or other job opportunities when hiring staff for top candidates
  • Salaries and benefits are increasing to keep top staff
  • Increased time to recruit good staff

Effective recruiting involves the following practices to assist companies hire top employees:

  • short listing employees with proper alignment of skill sets to organizational goals
  • ensuring effective and efficient recruiting by utilizing systems and processes
  • ensuring compliance with policies, practices and employment standards

Examples of this are equal-opportunity employment, non-discrimination and anti-bullying.

Reasons to use a Recruitment Firm

  1. Expertise and experience
  2. To save time and money
  3. Added resources as some companies do not have HR and recruitment departments
  4. Access to the hidden job market  (recruiters often have active job boards and campaigns

We love what we do, and we love sharing our passion with our candidates and our clients!

Interested in learning more about our services and systems?

Please feel free to call or email our office to discuss this further.


Genuine Time Off

A prior article about genuine time off yielded some unexpected responses from leadership. Among the messages I received, I saw a number of HR leaders remarking about how time off is also taken advantage of. 

Whether they believed time off is abused or neglected, it was fair to point out and call attention to the inconsistencies in taking time off. According to statistics found by CareerBuilder, 40% of workers have called in sick in the last 12 months when they weren’t sick. 

These stats, in addition to the messages from HR professionals, got me thinking about the various time off policies that companies put in place, particularly as it relates to sick time. In response, I want to share some of my own recommendations and advice for HR leaders when it comes to sick time policies in the workplace. 

Here are 3 HR approved reasons for employees to call in sick:

1. If they’re too sick to come in

This reason is the one that’s most often ignored by your people. Employees may think they’re scoring bonus points for toughing it out like a team player, but truthfully, not calling in sick only causes an inconvenience to their co-workers as they are not able to perform at their best. In this case, they are likely going to end up needing even more time off later than they would have if they had just taken a day off when they needed to recover.

2. If their symptoms are contagious

If a sick employee is determined to still come to work, your whole staff is at risk of catching the same cold, fever, or other illness they’ve brought into the office. If your sick employee spreads their germs to the rest of their co-workers and is the reason the rest of the team goes down, you can bet they aren’t going to be very happy with not just their sick co-worker, but also with leadership for allowing it to happen.

Don’t allow a sick employee to jeopardize everyone else’s ability to work and overall health just because they are too stubborn to stay home.

3. If their symptoms are seriously distracting

If your employee is hacking up a storm or blowing their nose every 30 seconds, it’s time for them to get some rest at home.

Disturbing everyone in the office with awful sounds of coughs, sneezes, and sniffles is no way to win favour from their work colleagues. This is also a good opportunity for your people to take advantage of your company’s work-from-home policies, which were instilled in order to make your employees feel comfortable and supported enough to take a day off from their duties when needed. 

Now that your sick employee has been diagnosed as in need of time off, how should they call in sick the right way?

Here are 3 must-dos for your employees when calling in sick:

1. Communicate as directed 

Far too often, I’ll get a text or email from an employee calling in sick when the policy explicitly states a phone call is required. 

Speaking over the phone will often allow you to see how the employee is doing, to gauge the severity of their illness or injury, to discuss how long they’ll be out of the office, and to help them ensure that their duties are covered by their team. 

If you are expecting your employees to adhere to a requested method of communication, that instruction must be clear, fair, and consistent. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and will reduce confusion and any feelings of preferential treatment.

2. Take responsibility for their work 

When calling in sick, your employees should be considerate of the gap in the workforce they’re leaving by delegating their tasks to their team members, providing instructions for how to get the work done in their absence, and rescheduling meetings and appointments.

It’s important that employees feel supported in their work handoffs when taking required time off, whether planned or unplanned. Succession planning in any role is key, regardless of the seniority or complexity of the position.

If your employee isn’t well enough to communicate remotely, connect with their manager and/or supervisor and give them an update so that they are aware of your employee’s status.

3. Be honest 

Honesty is the best policy — I can’t stress this enough. 

Ever had a day where you just don’t feel on? That’s okay! It’s important for all employees to feel encouraged to sort themselves out, sort their work out, and take a day to focus on their well-being. If your employee knows they’re going to be out for three days or more due to a contagious virus, they should feel comfortable to be upfront about it. The more information they can provide, the better equipped your team will be when the employee takes their leave. 

Over to you

When your employee is vulnerable and truthful with calling in sick, it is important that the reaction they receive from their HR and/or management is respectful, kind, and accepting. If you want your employees to trust their leadership and be upfront and honest about their personal matters, it is your responsibility to respect their needs and their privacy in return.

If you need guidance on your organization’s policies and practices when it comes to sick time and time off policies, connect with me at natasha@careercontacts.ca for a free assessment.

What to Do When You Don’t Get the Job

Your work isn’t over when you don’t get the job. Be sure to check these things off the list!

As the interview process continues along if you find that you are not short listed or receive notification that the company is not hiring you, take the time to respond. As long as you are interviewing and considering opportunities you are furthering yourself.
Some reasons you may not be able to control such as years of experience, companies may have already decided who they are hiring before you apply, the latest education etc

Here is a list of suggestions for further consideration for future opportunities

  • Always Respond – Take the time to send a quick email thanking for being considered. An email will allow you to ask to keep the door open to be considered for future job opportunities with this company or other positions that they may hear about.
  • Ask for Feedback – If you’ve gotten through a few rounds of interviews, the interview team has probably gotten a chance to know you well—so there is no harm in asking for feedback at the end of your follow-up email. There is a chance that they won’t provide feedback—because it might be seen as a liability or they’re short on time—but, if they do, it may be helpful as you move forward with your job search.
  • Reflect on What Happened – Maybe the interview didn’t go as well as you hoped, take the time to reflect and learn. This will allow you to make a game plan and avoid making the same mistake in the future. Think of it as a learning opportunity that will transform you into an even better candidate the next time around.
  • Recognize When It’s Not a Good Fit – Sometimes it’s not about you or anything you could have done differently. One thing I learned from hiring people is that there are so many great candidates and there are also a lot of behind-the-scenes decisions that go into each hire. Sometimes the decision to not hire you truly has nothing to do with you. Chalk it up to job hunting experience and go after the next company on your dream job list.
  • Let It Go – Don’t be hard on yourself, move on to the next job opportunity, and realize that the hiring process often takes time.

There is no doubt about it—the job search can be very stressful. Stay positive, take care of yourself, focus on continually learning and improving, and remember: You don’t want every job – only the best job.

References: Let them help you land your dream job!

I am always a little surprised when I conduct a bad reference since the candidate/employee is the one who is deciding who I get to talk – as a Recruiter, it’s definitely happened.

Most companies take the reference portion of the interview process seriously and it’s your time as a candidate to have someone else make you shine. Having someone speak positively on your professional behalf doesn’t have to be a game of chance. Here is what I tell job seekers when they are preparing for the reference stage.C

Contact Your References:

Give them a heads up – call them! Anytime you hand over someone’s contact information, they should be aware that this has happened and be ready for a call. More than that, they should understand what company will be calling and what job they are calling about. If you can tell them a little bit about who is going to call them, even better!

Get your stories straight. It doesn’t work out well when your reference has no idea what your title was and uses “Admin or something” (true story) when you’re applying for an Accounting & Finance role. Make sure your reference can speak to what you did accurately.

Remind them of your “shinning moments”. It’s hard enough for us to remember our own accomplishments in our career, don’t expect your references to remember. Remind them about times that you excelled and skills that you possess so they can relay them back to the caller effectively.

Make sure it’s a recent connection. I conducted a reference check the other day and the lady on the other end needed me to explain who I was talking about 4 different ways before it clicked. Her first response after that was “it’s been over 10 years since I’ve worked with him and even then, I barely knew him – not sure what I can say about him?” I can no longer trust that that reference has any ability to speak to your current set of skills so the reference becomes obsolete. It also makes me wonder why you haven’t made connections that are more relevant over the last ten years.

Get the right reference. The above tips will only work if you are providing a genuine and legitimate reference for employers to speak with. If you get your friend to pretend to be someone they aren’t (ready for it? True story!) and there’s an experienced reference checker on the other line, they are going to figure things out pretty quickly and you’re going to knock yourself out of the running immediately. It’s better to be upfront and say that you left your last position under less than ideal circumstances and ask if it’s ok to provide a co-worker or personal reference instead.

If you have the above 5 items checked off, you should feel confident that you’ve done your part in ensuring you get the positive reference you need. Now it’s up to you to get the references to the hiring manager or recruiter in a timely manner (usually before being asked) and be prepared to follow up!

Happy job hunting!

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