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July 2023

Industry conferences are finding new ways to differentiate

Last month, a group of coworkers and I had the opportunity to participate in a community- support event at the PIMA Summer Insights Conference in New Orleans. Securian Financial was a proud sponsor of the event that made a positive difference for so many people. About 75 people packaged meals in support of Rise Against Hunger, an initiative to end hunger in our communities.

Adding a community support event to a conference truly enhances the entire experience. It was a great way to network with other conference attendees while supporting a wonderful charity. We had a blast! It was like we were school kids, giggling whenever someone made a mistake and got ahead of themselves by placing their scoop of ingredients in the package before it was their turn in the packaging order. And every time we got to 1,000 bags completed, someone would bang on a big drum and surprise us all.

Volunteering helps more than you might know

If you talk with HR folks or peek at a careers page on a company website, you’ll probably notice that many companies offer volunteer paid time off. Companies know that supporting their communities is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good for business.

Did you know that 90 percent of employees who work at companies with a strong sense of purpose say they’re more inspired, motivated and loyal?1 A recent Deloitte study found that Gen Z and millennial employees are drawn to businesses that allow them to be of service to their communities.2 They feel a heightened level of commitment and empowerment.2

Allowing time for volunteering is not just creating better employee morale, it can help improve our mental health. A 2022 study by the Cleveland Clinic uncovered that volunteering can positively impact mental health and decrease stress, depression and anxiety.3

The benefits don’t stop there. Volunteering allows employees to develop new talents, improve their skills or learn new skills they can bring into their current roles. It also provides the opportunity to pay it forward, with volunteers sharing their skills and helping others learn.

Maybe you’ve read about it in the news or are experiencing it at your company, but the “Great Resignation” has shifted to “quiet quitting.” Some employees aren’t satisfied with their current roles. Could offering or increasing paid volunteer time be the key to recruiting top employees and keeping them happy? Maybe, maybe not, but it couldn’t hurt. 

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1. PN Purpose Tracker: Employee Perspectives on Responsible Leadership During Crisis. Porter Novelli. August 2020.

2. Parmelee, Michelle. 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, Deloitte. 2023.

3. Newsroom. Why Volunteering can Benefit Your Mental Health. Cleveland Clinic. November 28, 2022. 

DOFU 7-2023