“We” vs. “They”

watercoolerWe spend a lot of time thinking, talking, and writing about why lawyers, law firms, and legal departments should do pro bono work.

In case you need another reason, check out this research brief from the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.  Their bottom line:  “Employee volunteer programs can engage employees emotionally and intellectually.”

We often focus on the business case and “bottom line benefits” of pro bono and general corporate volunteerism, such as skills development, lower absenteeism, reduced turnover, and increased productivity.  This brief explores whether pro bono and corporate volunteering could “foster social identity and a strong sense of group membership.”

Research indicates that employee volunteer programs encourage “emotional attachment to the corporate identity and buy-in to corporate culture.”  For example, in one study “76 percent of respondents identified themselves as members of the corporate group, referring to ‘we’ rather than ‘they.’”  Additionally, 39 percent of respondents reported that volunteering helped them better understand their company’s values and mission, and 43 percent believed community involvement helps the company achieve its business goals.

As you can see, The PBEye has found yet another way that pro bono can significantly benefit not only the clients being served, but also law firms, legal departments, and their lawyers and staff.  Leave a comment and tell us about the impact that pro bono has had on your workplace.

For more insights, check out the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s Research Compendium: Pro Bono and Recruitment, Retention, and Morale.