We spoke to Laura Wright, PA to Director of People & Culture and Employee Event Manager at Gleneagles, the luxury hotel and sporting estate employing over 1,000 people.
From health and economic concerns to changes in the way we travel, socialise, work and interact with each other every day, the pandemic has brought uncertainty to individuals, families, communities and industries across the world. It’s against that unprecedented landscape that we first began exploring how we might further support our people to participate in volunteering work.
Keeping our employees engaged and feeling fulfilled and valued has always been a top priority, and we have a well-established charity programme to encourage our people to give something back, including giving everyone a day’s paid leave each year to volunteer at a charitable organisation of their choice. But, with our hotel closed for most of the last 15 months, and the vast majority of our team furloughed, we wanted to widen opportunities for them to stay motivated and retain their sense of purpose.
As a company we make regular donations to food banks, we support a range of local and national charity partners and we help the local community in many different ways, but we wanted to expand that support and give back more.
In any aspect of life, perceived difficulties or barriers to doing or accessing something will put people off. If you can remove perceived barriers and help make a process easier, you’re much more likely to win hearts and minds.
Social Good Connect is a great example of that and the overall concept appeals to our people because it’s a natural extension of the warm and thoughtful community-spirited culture we already have. Across our business, there’s a genuine desire to support others.
This week, we’re marking National Volunteers Week with the sharing and celebration of stories and learnings from volunteering experiences our people have had across the business.
We’d love to see more people find satisfying volunteering roles. We use the Facebook-owned internal communications tool, Workplace, to share stories of success and inspire teams and individuals to try new things, which has been a vital engagement tool over the past year to stay connected with our team and support mental and physical wellbeing.
We’d like to create a dedicated Social Good Connect page on Workplace, to showcase and celebrate the good work our people are doing in the community across myriad fields – from food banks and environmental groups to animal welfare and care work – to encourage as many of our team as possible to use the platform to find roles that will suit their specific skills and interests.
Don’t underestimate the value that volunteering can add to the employee experience and longer-term career goals. There are so many benefits to helping others in need, not least the boost to mental wellbeing.
At Gleneagles we regularly see people bring that positivity back to the business. It’s all about a shift in attitude. If you feel valued in your volunteering commitments outside of work, you’re likely to see yourself more positively in, and apply that positivity to, all the other aspects of your life, including your career.
Do you want to learn more about how Social Good Connect can help build on and expand your employee volunteering programme?
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