Employee Volunteering as Employee Development

We look at how employee volunteering can be used as a cost effective employee development tool.

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Cost effective development tool

We look at research conducted by Abeceder on behalf of Business in the Community, which show that employee volunteering can be used as a cost effective employee development tool.

More people volunteering

“Volunteering is growing in popularity as an employee development tool according to research conducted by Leeds based, HR management company, Abeceder Ltd. on behalf of Cares the employee volunteering initiative of Business in the Community.

Easy way to provide development opportunities

An increasing number of employers are recognising that volunteering can provide an effective environment for employees to develop their skills.

The reality is that one of the main reasons people change employers is to get opportunities to build their skills and develop their careers.

But many employers are reluctant to provide training because of the high costs that can be involved, and the difficulties of ensuring that they get a return on their investment.

Individual opportunities

Volunteering gives individual employees the opportunity to build their skills and knowledge, whilst at the same time giving something back to the community.

It is this community involvement, which helps to motivate employees, and which sees many of them continue their involvement with a charity long after the volunteering project has finished, providing valuable skills reinforcement.

Team development

Teams also benefit from volunteering. Some companies, like Gala Group, has essentially abandoned traditional adventure style team building events in favour of volunteering, which they describe as offering an inclusive experience that delivers the required learning, more cost effectively, and has the added advantage of giving something to the community.

Giving it seems is also a difficult habit to break.

Managers described their teams becoming more cooperative after the volunteering project, with clear evidence of employees sharing knowledge and information, resulting in a more productive working environment.

Big name support

Since 2005 which was the year of the volunteer prominent figures have urged businesses to give more support to employee volunteering.

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales has encouraged companies to get 25% of their employees engaged in volunteering activities.

Sir Digby Jones a former head of the CBI has called for employers to consider community involvement as part of hiring and promotional decisions.