Align your volunteering with your business goals
A day in the park litter-picking can be great fun and good for team-building, but if you want your employees to commit to something significant, their volunteering should be based on something that feels relevant to them and your organisation. It helps employees get behind it, and it helps you make a real & strategic difference, rather than do a few good things here and there.
Build and support the skills employees have already
This is an easy way to magnify your impact. If your workforce has, for example, digital skills, then they already have the core volunteering skills to help other people with digital skills. They need galvanising and they need proper training and support to put their skills to use but they don’t need to learn a whole new skill set to get going.
Run it like a pro
Volunteer management can need more resources than everyday employee management - because it’s an extra ask for employees to find/ attend/ record. One of our clients, VirginMediaO2Business, is making great impact with its Connect More programme, partly because it’s putting so much thought and resource into how its volunteers are run and how they mak volunteering accessible and easy as possible at every step.
Have a portfolio of opportunities
Find different ways people can apply their skills and, and if they want to, deepen their volunteering. Our client, Capgemini, run a full set of digital skills volunteering – from helping friends and family with basics via Inspire – to Code your Future, helping refugees become web developers.
Or VMO2 start employees on Inspire, and then some go on to join the Digital Champions Network and volunteer in more structured, community programmes, not only helping people already in their networks.
Test it out before you roll it out
We’ve talked about how much we love pilots before. The work we’re doing with Phoenix Group is all based round this iterative, graduated approach as we test and adapt to the make the programme fit the organisation, its employees and its goals . We’ve learnt that DI is different in every organisation - even where it sits in the company can vary enormously – and that’s before you even get to its goals and aims. If you want to make it work, make it fit and use pilots to do it.