Ask any employer what troubles them most right now, and many will talk about recruitment difficulties, retention challenges, and the fear that candidates want an altogether different style of work than they might have expected pre-pandemic.
But where there’s challenge, there’s also opportunity.
Community Action Suffolk is beginning its countdown to this year’s Work Of Heart – Employer Supported Volunteering campaign.
This is our annual focus on celebrating and supporting ESV endeavours across the county.
It’s our opportunity to tell the stories of how companies have successfully introduced and integrated ESV practices, and to provide genuinely useful and supportive advice, for those employers keen to adopt the approach.
Why do we think this is such a great time to focus on ESV?
Well, with the more complex landscape for recruiting and retaining staff, and with the world now feeling a sense of greater ‘normality’ post-Covid, this couldn’t be a better opportunity to look with more detail at ‘how’ employees want to be served.
Yes, of course staff want to be paid well, and rewarded in such a way as to support their lives and that of their family (particularly in the midst of a cost of living crisis).
But at the same time, a great number of candidates entering the job market, and those in existing employment, are feeling strongly about particular causes or crises in and around their community.
Such a strength of feeling means that when people to look to apply for a job, or to consider their future in a particular company, they’re seeking to know that the culture of that business is such that it embraces the individual’s passions.
ESV gives an employer an opportunity to really evidence that ethos.
It can be led by an organisation in any number of ways, but essentially supports and encourages individuals to be involved in activities or causes which directly affect their community.
It might mean giving individuals time within their working hours (perhaps monthly) to partake in an activity for a particular charity.
It might take the form of a team of employees choosing a cause or project on a regular basis, and getting involved in this for the benefit of a charity or social enterprise.
Community Action Suffolk is just one example of an employer doing this very thing.
We provide our staff with the chance to spend two days volunteering as they wish – fully paid.
They’ll discuss the intended activities as part of their recruitment and appraisal process, and the feedback is always positive.
Not only is it serving that individual with an opportunity to get hands-on for a cause they care about, but it’s helping them channel their skills (and gain new ones), build new friendships, learn about being effective as a team – and it’s clearly helpful for mental health too.
We would love to see many more organisations and businesses adopting an ESV strategy during our campaign this March.
Below details more about the events taking place around the county, and gives you the chance to register your interest in attending.
In addition, we welcome individual requests for support and advice at any time, and we’re always happy to put you in touch with other businesses from across Suffolk who have successfully implemented ESV.
|When: 13th March – 17th March 2023 During the week we will be hosting face to face network events for businesses and charities to meet each other as well as encouraging businesses to take part in volunteering during this week. Events are happening in the following areas.|
Suffolk County Council- Face to face, Endeavour House- Suffolk County Council Staff
Tues 14th March @12-2:00pm For Suffolk County Council staff.
Stowmarket – Face to face, The Mix, Thursday 16th March, 11am-12:30pm, Employer Supported Volunteering Network Event for businesses and charities- Bookings now closed.
Any questions email: [email protected]