Volunteering & Digital Badges

We’re all living in uncertain times. And when the going gets tough, the least businesses can do is offer a helping hand. As many people are working remotely for the foreseeable future, being homebound can make some employees feel lonely, sad, and longing for a sense of purpose outside of their job. These feelings can be detrimental to workers and businesses that employ them. When they become burnt out, it can lead to low morale and decreased productivity.

Employers can help their employees combat these feelings through volunteering. Your company likely has some type of volunteer PTO program and now is a great time to encourage people to use it. Many employees take pride in their work. But many long to do activities that help others. Volunteering can help us build bonds, create lasting friendships, improve self-esteem, and even boost mental health.

One factor to consider, however, is that in-person volunteer opportunities may be limited due to the pandemic. Luckily, there are a variety of digital projects they can pursue. With the right training and guidance, digital volunteering can help your workforce, and your business, make a world of difference.

Lending a hand from a safe distance

Fortunately, your employees can still make a difference without spreading germs. In fact, this could be a great time for them to learn some new skills or use ones they already have to make a positive mark on the world. Here are a few examples of what they can do:

  • Make face masks: PPE is crucial for stopping the spread of the coronavirus. For all that masks do for our health, it doesn’t take much to make one. The materials and techniques used to make face masks are cheap and relatively simple. Your employees can create face masks and donate them to places in need like hospitals and homeless shelters. If they’re interested in doing so but don’t know-how, a simple training course is all they need to get started.
  • Participate in a remote phone bank: The pandemic has hit some sectors harder than others. Countless local hotels, theaters, and restaurants across the country are on the brink of financial ruin. Fundraisers can provide a safety net for these community staples, keeping these establishments running and their workers on the payroll. Participating in a remote fundraising phone bank can help support struggling businesses and provide the personal connection we all need right now.
  • Promote charity organizations via social media: In today's tech-driven world, people can share their thoughts, ideas, or calls to action with the click of a button. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have made it easier for people to promote nonprofit donation funnels to anyone from anywhere. In other cases, nonprofits are looking for volunteers to help run their social media accounts. Social media management skills are relatively easy to learn and can be a great opportunity for your employees. Providing them digital credentials can help them enhance this skill to better serve their communities.
  • Contact tracing: While it can be mundane at times, contact tracing is a small task that can make a big impact. Organizations like the United Nations are looking for volunteers to collect COVID-19 related data for its research. This data not only helps experts understand the impacts of COVID-19 in the U.S. but around the world. It allows them to get a better understanding of who is being impacted, where resources need to be allocated, and the types of initiatives that can help combat the virus. Florida International University is offering a digital badge for successfully completing a contact tracing training program.

You and your employees’ lives have likely been disrupted by the pandemic. Volunteering can help ease the stresses of these tumultuous times and be the driving force for good we all need. Like most ventures in life, having the right proficiencies can help drive change. A digital certificate from Credly can empower employees to hone new skills that assist community support inside and outside the workplace.

By Patricia Diaz