Employee volunteering - community and company benefits - Business Works
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Employee volunteering - community and company benefits

Angela Schlenkhoff-Hus, Development Manager, CSV Innovative research carried out by volunteering charity CSV has shed new light on the relationships between employers, employees and community groups engaged in employee volunteering programmes.

The research, entitled 'Employee Volunteering – Who’s Benefiting Now?' highlights some of the issues stakeholders need to address in order to maximise the impact they can make.

Based on 40 interviews across business and the voluntary sector, the research explores how relationships between corporates, their staff and the communities they work with are changing and whether everyone’s needs are being met.

"Employees want to stretch themselves and be challenged," says Angela Schlenkhoff-Hus, CSV’s Development Manager who led the research. "Employers want to be able to offer the skills of their workforce to charities which need them, but they need to take into account people’s different motivations. Some staff are motivated by a desire to improve their softer skills. CSR strategies are moving away from practical team volunteering tasks to include skills-based volunteering, but employers will need to support their staff to do this."

As a long-standing client of CSV, Deloitte has been committed to help shape the future of employee volunteering. Bob Thust, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Deloitte, said, "As a highly skilled professional services firm, effectively utilising our people’s expertise is at the very heart of our corporate responsibility approach and the impact we want to create. As the report highlights, doing that effectively requires a proper understanding of the needs on both sides so it truly adds value in the community and provides our employees with a rewarding and developmental experience."

Sarah Gordon, Companies Editor at the Financial Times, said, "CSV's research makes it clear how valuable employers and voluntary organisations feel employee volunteering is. But it also presents a picture of some stark challenges for the future - in particular, how to make up for the loss of funding for the voluntary sector. Deepening the engagement between companies and voluntary organisations has never been more important and the research presents some practical steps to make this happen."

The report also highlights the potentially untapped resource bound up in small- and medium-sized enterprises which employ over 14 million people and account for 99% of all businesses. "SMEs are very much grounded in their local communities and may well be enabling their employees to volunteer," says Angela. "But as far as we know only 14% have access to employer-supported volunteering schemes compared with 47% of people who work for companies with more than 250 staff."

For more information on CSV, please visit: www.csv.org.uk

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