Employee involvement

August 01, 1993

Two thirds of employee volunteers (67%) believe it is important that senior management set an example by becoming involved in the community themselves and nearly three quarters (71%) prefer to chose their own area of voluntary activity rather than be led by the company. The findings come from a survey by MORI among 800 full-time employees, published on the launch of the 1993 Employees in the Community Awards, reported in the last issue of Community Affairs Briefing. Among other findings:

59% say they do not currently do any voluntary work; and

36% “strongly” and 23% “slightly” prefer to work for a company which gives help to local communities.

The Awards, sponsored by Grand Metropolitan and the Home Office, recognise companies which encourage and support employees in voluntary activity. Past winners include Allied Dunbar and Sedgwick Group. The closing date for nominations is September 24. Contact Diane Worley, BITC, on 071 629 1600

Employee volunteering supported by companies improves internal communications, community relations, employee morale and networking with other employers, a mid-term evaluation of two pilot schemes has concluded. The two projects, in Leeds and Leicester, are managed by Action Resource Centre with part-funding from the Home Office and form part of a three project set up in 1991 to provide practical models and experience on how to expand employee volunteering across the UK. Employers involved included IBM, Yorkshire Electricity, ASDA and East Midlands Electricity. The full findings were published in a report on July 22. Contact David Hemsworth, ARC, on 071 383 2200

The seventh annual UK Volunteers Week took place on June 1 – 7, with many employees getting involved in events in their local communities. For example, staff at the Royal Mail in Birmingham created a garden in a local hospital and in Wolverhampton organised a seaside trip for 120 underprivileged children. Nationally, National Westminster Bank sponsored the production of 24,000 posters to advertise the week and the Royal Mail supported a guide and newsletter for organisers in the run up to the Week. Contact Sheila Edwin, The Volunteer Centre UK, on 0442 873311

The Volunteer Centre UK has published a series of essays on the current position with volunteering in various European countries, written by practitioners from 14 countries and edited by Justin Davis Smith. He concludes the outlook for volunteering is healthy, provided a suitable infrastructure is developed to support it and provided all the sectors, especially government, recognises the r”le and limitations. Volunteering in Europe: opportunities and challenges for the 90s, edited by Justin Davis Smith; 157pp A4, ISBN 1 897708 50 5, price £19.95, available from The Volunteer Centre on 0442 873311

For the eleventh year running, Whitbread and The Volunteer Centre UK are running a national awards scheme to honour individuals who make an outstanding contribution to society through voluntary activity. The Whitbread Volunteer Action Awards offer £13,000 in prize money under twelve categories, split between the individual winner and their community group. The closing date for nominations is September 24. Contact 0272 252000

Seventeen young managers from the TSB in Birmingham will start a 100 hour business related community assignment in August, as part of the Bank’s Business Challenge management training and development programme. This combines community assignments with conventional residential training modules. Projects include Sandwell Women’s Enterprise Development Agency and Coventry CVS. Contact Anne Nixon, TSB, on 021 600 6423

Corporate Citizenship Briefing, issue no: 11 – August, 1993