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People power

27 March, 2020

Last week, we talked about companies that were re-purposing their manufacturing facilities and physical sites to help out. This week, we’re suggesting ‘re-purposing’ your employees… 

Many companies have volunteering policies that allow people to take paid days off to help out in the community. However, take-up of these policies is often low, in some cases because company culture doesn’t celebrate or value volunteering, though this is changing.

Another issue is often one of time and commitment – charities typically prefer longer term commitments than the one or two days that corporate volunteering permit, and unqualified volunteers require resource intensive management and supervision.

However, we’ve seen a significant upsurge in unstructured and informal volunteering over the past week, with mutual aid groups springing up and effectively harnessing people’s time and skills to support vulnerable members of society through picking up food, supporting food banks, and setting up response teams to help in whatever way is needed. And, as the NHS calls for volunteer responders (currently, 500,000 people registered and rising at the time of writing), the volunteering landscape is clearly shifting quickly and in unanticipated ways.

So this is as good a time as any to revisit that volunteering policy, remind your teams that it is there and encourage them to find ways they can help out locally, whilst keeping themselves and others safe.

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