Pro Bono and Employee Engagement

Last Friday, our friends at Deloitte* celebrated their 12th annual IMPACT Day, a national day of service during which employees devote the day to volunteerism.  More than 50,000 employees participated this year, volunteering at more than 800 events nationwide.  Some of these volunteer projects were skills-based and allowed employees to use their business knowledge and expertise in order to help a good cause—in other words, they were pro bono projects.

IMPACT Day encourages Deloitte employees to contribute to their communities, but the benefits don’t stop there.  Each year, Deloitte conducts its IMPACT Survey to explore trends and issues in corporate philanthropy.  Deloitte’s 2011 IMPACT Survey studies the relationship between workplace volunteerism and employee engagement for individuals aged 21-35 (an age group dubbed “millenials”).  Millenials are “often described as the most civic-minded generation to come along since World War II.”  Here are some of the survey’s key findings:

Compared to those who rarely or never volunteer, millenials who frequently volunteer are:

  • More likely to be proud, loyal, and satisfied employees;
  • Two times more likely to rate their corporate culture “very positive”;
  • Nearly twice as likely to be very satisfied with the progression of their career; and
  • More likely to recommend their company to a friend.

More than half of the millenials surveyed (51%) want volunteerism to benefit them professionally.

The PBEye believes the same link exists between pro bono work and attorney engagement.  Law firms can engage their attorneys, at all stages of their careers, through pro bono work, creating a culture of service, shared values, and inclusion.  Attorneys who are “engaged” in the firm are more devoted to staying at the firm and are committed to contributing their best efforts.

Share your thoughts and leave a comment:  How does your firm’s pro bono work foster attorney engagement?

* denotes a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono ChallengeSM

Hat tip to PBI intern Jessica Brierly-Snowden for her help with this post.