More than 27 percent of Americans donate time to nonprofit organizations, and 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies run corporate programs to enable volunteer efforts. Until recently, however, no data existed to measure the impact of volunteering on employees’ day-to-day job performance.

As it turns out, do-gooders are also good for a company’s bottom line. “Employees who volunteer are better employees,” says Jessica Rodell, an assistant professor of management at the University of...

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