Three top tips for designing an employee volunteering programme

Emily Forsyth-Davies | Head of ESG
1 min read
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In summary…

Emily Forsyth-Davies, Head of ESG, Aurum Research Limited, has recently revamped the Aurum Group’s UK employee volunteering offering. These are her three top suggestions for where to focus when designing a volunteering programme. Employer-supported volunteering gives employees the opportunity to volunteer during working hours. These volunteering programmes enable employees to support community organisations and charities with their time and skills.

This gives employees the chance to build connections with community organisations and charities as well as giving back to society in alignment with their values and passions. Employees also gain the opportunity to develop key soft skills in areas such as coaching, leadership and organisational abilities.

1. Inclusivity – offer employees different methods of engaging to make volunteering more accessible to all

Some schemes only offer face-to-face volunteering. These can work really well, but aren’t accessible for all employees due to outside commitments and travel concerns so we have adopted a hybrid virtual and in-person approach.

By engaging the online volunteering platform Matchable, we are able to ensure all employees are able to participate as it provides an innovative and flexible volunteering approach for colleagues. By matching our employees skills with specific needs, we are able to create a material positive impact for those organisations we are matched with.

Via Matchable, I have been working with a carbon action platform that is trying to democratise carbon offsetting. This has been ongoing since July where I have volunteered and shared my skills. We have a regular monthly zoom meeting where we discuss progress and I provide coaching on ongoing sales opportunities. Overall I have enjoyed the experience and am hopeful we will close one of the leads I have provided soon!
Tom Margerison, Portfolio Advisory at Aurum Research Limited, on his experience with Matchable

2. Team building – volunteering can be a great opportunity for employees to strengthen relationships across and within teams

Given the enforced virtual working environment over most of the last two years, a lot of colleagues are keen to have more team based interactions. So alongside the online platform we are also offering group opportunities for people to volunteer on a face-to-face basis. This ensures that those colleagues who prefer a ‘hands-on’ approach are able to benefit from volunteering opportunities alongside their colleagues from across the firm.

3. Encouraging employee passion – ensure your volunteering programme incorporates those causes your team are passionate about

People often support causes that they have a personal connection with or are particularly passionate about and to encourage this, we are also offering employees the opportunity to volunteer with a cause of their choice. By submitting a short online form approved by their line manager, colleagues are now able to give back to causes which are close to their hearts.

Overall this three-pronged approach to volunteering provides flexibility and ensures employees can get the most out of their volunteering days.

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