Engaging staff productively

CCB

 

Posted in: Analysis/Comment, Employees, Speaking Out

Engaging staff productively

April 01, 1998

INVOLVEMENT WORKS

Employee community involvement has a measurable impact on staff skills and motivation, a research project by a group of 18 leading companies has found. Self-assessment by nearly 400 staff found competency gains, particularly in communication and team working skills, from volunteering and short term secondments. The findings from staff were confirmed by evaluation with their line managers and peers. The results of the two year project were published in March as Valuing Employee Community Involvement by The Corporate Citizenship Company, publisher of Community Affairs Briefing. With practical guidance on measuring business benefit, the report also contains case studies from companies such as Allied Dunbar, BT, Diageo, Marks & Spencer, NatWest and Whitbread. Contact Sue Parson, TCCC, on 0171 287 6676

BUSINESS ON BOARD

Business in the Community has issued the latest in its series of short ‘briefings for managers’: Business on Board presents successful models for engaging employees at executive levels as trustees on voluntary organisation boards. Examples are included from NatWest, Allied Dunbar, Sun Life and the Prudential Corporation. Copies are available for distribution within companies. Contact Carys McCartney, BITC, on 0171 224 1600

THIRD AGE VOLUNTEERING

Much of the volunteering potential of older people remains to be tapped by companies running employee community involvement programmes, according to a report published in February by the Carnegie UK Trust. Based on a survey of 450 volunteers aged 50-plus in 25 organisations, Potential of a Lifetime found that over a quarter did not know about their employer’s scheme, while only one in twenty had been introduced to volunteering by it. The two-part report, which also included non-employee volunteers in the survey, found that most older people become involved through talking to people, via existing contacts in the organisation or by responding to advertisements. Among problems identified were lack of opportunity to use their skills and a reluctance to train. Funding for the Trust’s Third Age volunteering project was provided by the TSB Foundations. Contact Carnegie UK Trust on 01383 721445

VOLUNTEERING PARTNERS

The national charity CSV (Community Service Volunteers) and energy company, Eastern Group, started a three year volunteering campaign in March, called Energy for Action, believed to be the first single charity/single company partnership with dedicated staff running a comprehensive employee community involvement programme. Employees will focus on local community action rather than fundraising. Contact Claire Palmer, Eastern Group, on 01473 554213

AWARDING BUREAUX

A new awards scheme for outstanding local volunteer bureaux has been sponsored by Diageo, the food and drink company formed from the merger of Grand Metropolitan and Guinness. The first Working with Business awards were presented on March 31 to three bureaux which have promoted volunteering to their local companies. The scheme is run with the National Association of Volunteer Bureaux. Contact Joe Franses, NAVB, on 0171 222 2121

Comment

A quarter of a century ago, forward thinking executives in IBM UK helped to set up a new charity in Britain, Action Resource Centre. Now merged with BITC, its mission was to engage employees in community action, then mainly full-time end-of-career secondees. Today, the ways are getting employees involved are legion and virtually all large companies and many smaller ones offer some sort of help.

In the intervening years, the importance of human resource management to corporate success has been transformed: flexible, motivated, well-trained, productive workforces are essential just to stay in business in the face of global competition. That the company can get real benefit from employee community involvement, then just a hunch, is now becoming, albeit hesitantly, a provable driving force. Evaluation is giving community affairs managers the hard evidence to make the case to HR and line managers. In an era when growth in spending budgets is unlikely, certainly not real increases beyond growth in corporate profits, here is the fuel to drive corporate involvement agenda.

Corporate Citizenship Briefing, issue no: 39 – April, 1998

COMMENT:

As competitive pressures mount, companies need productive workers. New research shows that employee community involvement can help.

A quarter of a century ago, forward thinking executives in IBM UK helped to set up a new charity in Britain, Action Resource Centre. Now merged with BITC, its mission was to engage employees in community action, then mainly full-time end-of-career secondees. Today, the ways are getting employees involved are legion and virtually all large companies and many smaller ones offer some sort of help.

In the intervening years, the importance of human resource management to corporate success has been transformed: flexible, motivated, well-trained, productive workforces are essential just to stay in business in the face of global competition. That the company can get real benefit from employee community involvement, then just a hunch, is now becoming, albeit hesitantly, a provable driving force. Evaluation is giving community affairs managers the hard evidence to make the case to HR and line managers. In an era when growth in spending budgets is unlikely, certainly not real increases beyond growth in corporate profits, here is the fuel to drive corporate involvement agenda.

Corporate Citizenship Briefing, issue no: 39 – April, 1998

COMMENTS