Continuing our ‘Get to Know Us’ Friday blog series, we have been speaking to some of our newest business partners about their work and why right now is the perfect time to invest in employee volunteering.
Next up is 20/20 Business Insight a 16-strong employee-owned company that supports the project management knowledge and certification needs of organisations and individuals across the world. The team operates from Scotland and England through virtual, online, classroom and blended learning, and competence analysis solutions.
We spoke to Employee Trustee Phil Jefferies.
We’ve developed a strong culture of people wanting to give back. We’ve worked on our ethos and culture a lot over the last couple of years and the challenges of the pandemic have forced us to reflect even more deeply on how we behave and manage our relationships with each other and with our communities.
We want to enable people to help others. Social Good Connect can help us facilitate that in a really flexible way. For us, respect, empowerment and fun are core pillars of how we work as a team and this relationship will help us show respect for people in need, it will empower people to help in a structured, tailored way and there will of course be fun involved in the volunteering placements!
This was a classic case of the right idea coming to our attention at the right time. Our charitable efforts have always been on more of an ad hoc basis. Being a member of Social Good Connect means we can make volunteering more regular and see it embedded as a natural part of our culture over time.
We’re an employee-owned business, and employee wellbeing is obviously important to us. The arrival of the pandemic brought to the forefront just how vital it is to focus on health and wellbeing of our people. We know that giving back improves wellbeing, so it made good sense to join a platform and team that can connect us to ways to give back.
The matching idea really appeals and so does the availability of a variety of virtual micro-volunteering roles, which I think we were less aware of before. You so often think of face-to-face volunteering as the main way of helping people, but we’ve learned through Social Good Connect that there are a whole range of virtual routes to supporting people in need. The platform’s range of charities and causes means you can choose from all sorts of virtual roles as well as more physical commitments.
We also like the fact that we can ask for links to particular causes to be explored for us – ones that might not currently be on the platform but that our employees really want to get involved with. That way we’ll get an even better sign-up rate.
We launched the concept to all staff in February, signed up to the platform in early March after getting a great response, and several employees are planning to engage straight away. Others already volunteer in their own time but are likely to seek matches via the platform too.
We envisage that at least half of our team will be volunteering regularly and others will dip in and out as their challenging home commitments allow. We’ll support people who volunteer during the working day. In this new era of remote working, we’re happy for the lines to be blurred. You have to be flexible and realistic about what people have going on in their lives and how they best need to balance their time.
And we know that for this to work for the whole team, we need to set a good example, so I’ll be signing up to a placement very soon!
It’s also important to keep circling back to the team about new volunteering opportunities that appear on the platform and to share stories of success. We know that the Social Good Connect team will help us with both of those things.
There’s a clear link between giving back and improved mental health. We invited external mental health experts to present to us last month and there are many studies to show that helping others improves our state of mind, sense of purpose and even stress levels.
We attended a business breakfast recently on corporate social responsibility and it was clear that there are still companies who tend to treat CSR activity as a ‘separate’ activity. That’s not how we see it – for us it’s about embedding giving back into our way of being. It’s not a tick-box exercise.
If you want to find out more about how Social Good Connect can help you organisation measure the impact of your employee volunteering programme then please get in touch!
Caroline has made it her life’s work to help people make more meaningful decisions to support their communities and she’s learned some golden nuggets along the way!
So, join Caroline each week for her ‘Thursday Thoughts’ on all things people, planet, philanthropy or purpose all served with sprinkle of fun (but unfortunately no prosecco) to inspire you.