Building a culture of volunteering is central to retention and driving engagement among our staff. Our clients particularly those in the legal sector are also very generous in enabling their staff to volunteer through the Law Centres Network as well within their communities.
It is difficult to enable volunteering for staff who have long distances to travel during the working week, and naturally exhausted staff may lack the energy to volunteer on weekends. Flexible Working is an excellent way to work around this issue.
At Hayachi Services we opt to facilitate our staff to spend 10% of their working week to volunteer is some fashion in order to build and sustain a culture of community engagement. This can be through Open Source projects, local community and stakeholder engagement or simply by enabling our staff to work remotely to free up time for other activities.
Working with charitable partners in order to offer up expertise and resources is also very important, and the management team at Hayachi Services do this in a personal capacity.
Below are quick and easy ways to facilitate a culture of volunteering within your firm:
- Partnerships with local charities in order to make staff aware of programmes through a notice-board (digital or physical)
- Giving departments a small budget to facilitate joint-activities such as fundraising or volunteering
- Ensuring staff receive internal newsletters/bulletins to explore projects the firm is involved in
- Allowing staff to work 3% or so of their week with third sector organisations (provided they make the time up during the week)
- Including community work in awards on performance e.g. Employee Of The Month, or Values awards
- Exploring opportunities for advocacy such as through using Enterprise Open Source software
Upskilling through volunteering
Our staff use volunteering as an opportunity to upskill, through learning how to operate a till in a charity shop to building on their health and physical endurance through fundraising for marathons.
As a Red Hat Business Partner we are also fond of advocating the use of Enterprise Open Source solutions to enable our clients to use world-leading software, and in turn supporting the Open Source element of the software. This reduces technology-divides within communities and ensure that organisations of all sizes can still excel using leading technology if they cannot afford a subscription for an Enterprise solution.
Allowing our staff to be advocates for open technologies also enhances the technical skill of our staff which is invaluable for us. Building awareness of real-life issues ensures our Support teams are keenly aware of the challenges our customers face, making them more effective at their roles. Such soft-skills are otherwise hard to gain.
We often find that IT Departments for our larger clients are not trained on enabling volunteering among their staff, which in turn can prevent solicitors working with the Law Centres Network or donating supplies such as cleaning products. Our staff volunteering enables Hayachi Services to offer an extra special service and guidance in such events as that above.
It is a simple fact that volunteering time is far more valuable than a donation, although many charities do of course gratefully receive both. Building knowledge of Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance enhances staff retention, performance and engagement including during IT Refresh projects.