When ATR began in 1988, it was with the desire to help people come together to produce something positive. While that happens every time we match a skilled job seeker with an incredible company, we also believe that businesses like ours have a corporate responsibility to help the world and contribute to society outside of the services we deliver. Knowing that philanthropy is the best way to achieve that, we instituted a Volunteering Time Off program long ago, and it’s something I’m personally very proud of.
Our VTO Program
Just as it sounds, our Volunteering Time Off program means granting employees time outside of traditional PTO or Sick Leave to volunteer at a nonprofit. What warms our hearts is knowing we aren’t alone; studies show 61% of companies offer some sort of VTO. At ATR, we offer each employee 40 hours of VTO time per year. Our employees have done a lot with this and made a big impact in society. Here is just a snapshot of how some have spent their time:
- Sr. Technical Recruiter Saroj Ghosh volunteered with the Muscular Dystrophy Association summer camp
- Account Executive Fran Garfinkel spent time with Women Helping Women
- Marketing Analyst Kamila Sobczyk supported several Alzheimer’s Association events
- Account Executive Sara Delaney worked with teens at the Behailu Academy
- Account Executive Sarah Yacono built homes with Habitat for Humanity
- The ATR Marketing team helped Toys for Tots during the holidays
Why Does Volunteering Matter?
Our employees found the above experiences to be extremely rewarding because they knew that their actions mattered. Their volunteering efforts made a direct and tangible impact on their community. Donating time is the most valuable thing we can give another. After all, it’s easy to forget a faceless corporation that mails in a check, but it’s a lot harder to forget the person who serves someone the only meal they might eat that day, or the person sweating next to them nailing the frame of a house in the summer heat. Plus, 77% of Millennials prefer donating their time instead of money, and that means much of any company’s workforce, including ATR’s, feels the same way.
I cannot overemphasize how important the VTO program is to our company. We want our employees to be well-rounded individuals and understand that it’s difficult to set aside an entire weekend away from family to volunteer. Through VTO, our employees can continue to follow their passion for community service. So many ATR employees hold a charity close to their heart and maintaining that personal connection can and should be a priority.
Simply put, these acts of charity make the world a better place, and we want to give back to our community. At the same time, instituting a VTO program has a positive effect on business, and we encourage every organization out there to follow our lead. Putting employees out in the field communicating with real people and creating positive change with their own two hands provides priceless benefits. Customers or clients want to work with companies that care about those around them, and volunteering company time shows a strong dedication to improving the community. Seeing these values played out in practice is precisely how people grow loyal to a company.
On top of that, I’ve personally seen how our VTO program has improved employee engagement and culture. When our people do good, they feel good. Employees who volunteer have a positive outlook on life and bring that positivity into ATR offices. Their attitude and instinct for helping others is one that translates well to our fast-paced and high-stakes business environment that relies on multiple people selflessly working together, putting egos aside for the greater good. Volunteering builds those teamwork skills, proven by the 81% of professionals across America who find that volunteering strengthens relationships among colleagues.
Volunteering Time Off and You
No matter your walk of life, I strongly encourage you to volunteer more within your community. To our employees, I thank you for continuing to make ATR’s VTO program one of the most impactful in the industry. To fellow business leaders, please consider instituting a VTO program in your organization. Not only will you be doing something good for the world, but you’ll reap many benefits from it as well.
Want to talk more about VTO? Feel free to reach out to us to continue the conversation.