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Engaging our Community Minds

Updated: May 1

The important topic of how best to engage staff in company volunteering schemes was the focus for a lively CMP Community Minds event in April, hosted at the Farnborough office of CMP Members, Syneos Health.

Representatives from over a dozen Member companies heard an excellent presentation by Emma Cross, Lead Trusted Process Specialist at Syneos Health, detailing how her company successfully manages the process. Emma's insight was further supported by valuable contributions by Gina Finn, Media Events Manager at BMW Group UK and Ruth Pappadakis, Head of People and Culture at Amazon Filters.

In it's latest report (2023) on the state of corporate volunteering entitled 'Driving impact in a hybrid world', Benevity concluded that whilst volunteering schemes 'bring renewed purpose to hybrid working, deepening employee connections, strengthen company culture and create a sense of community', participation rates are at around 8.6% in the UK.

Inspired by the experiences shared by the three enthusiastic, insightful presenters, barriers to staff engagement, possible solutions and effective strategies were helpfully exchanged. A treasure chest of brilliant, practical learning points for scheme design and management emerged from the positive discussion including the importance of:

  • establishing a volunteering team in-house for mutual support to drive plans

  • using a tracking scheme to ensure that you know who is out volunteering

  • utilising all channels of internal communications - talking heads videos, great

quotes/feedback - to share the impact on beneficiaries with staff

  • leading from the top by encouraging involvement of senior leaders and managers

  • using ambassadors and volunteering champions to act as catalysts in the workplace

  • celebrating your volunteers to ensure that your entire workforce know who has been

out, where and what they've been doing, with what impact on beneficiaries

Kerry Utton, Senior Vice President and Head of Department at Syneos Health, said after the event that the success of her company's volunteering scheme began with the significant effort of a team of enthusiasts to get things going and sustain momentum.

'But the feelings of pride and accomplishment are huge and the long-lasting ripple effect amongst both volunteers and beneficiaries alike is immeasurable'.

If you are considering the introduction of a company volunteering scheme and would like to discuss how CMP could support you, please get in touch.

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