Business Charity Awards: Employee Engagement Initiative of the Year – Aviva for Aviva Volunteering Week

For a company that has adopted policies that have resulted in a significant increase in charitable donations or activities by its workforce

What was the scheme?

Every Aviva employee is given three days of paid volunteering leave a year. But recognising the difference between being offered an opportunity and actually taking it, the company wanted to be proactive in supporting its staff to give their time in support of good causes and removing barriers to volunteering. Aviva challenged itself to fund more than £1m of community investment activity through employee volunteering by 2020 and boost volunteering hours from 17,500 in 2018 to 50,000 in 2020. It created an integrated Volunteering Week programme to achieve this.

What did it do?

Aviva launched its internal Volunteering Week alongside National Volunteering Week in June 2019. The organisation worked alongside seven charity partners to create a timetable of pre-arranged activities that employees could sign up to across the week, and worked to promote these across their branches. Aviva also researched both the specific causes that employees were most passionate about and the best ways to overcome barriers to volunteering, such as offering micro and digital volunteering opportunities.

Why did it win?

In 2019 the volunteering hours taken by Aviva employees more than doubled, with the company logging more than 35,800, up from 17,500 in 2018. The organisation’s corporate responsibility website received 11,000 hits in April and 13,000 in May 2019, up by 500 per cent on the average monthly visits over the previous six months. Aviva celebrated a “legion” of volunteers mobilising across its Volunteering Week, but the organisation also experienced a sustained increase in recorded volunteering activity throughout the remainder of the summer. As a result, the organisation is confident of hitting its 2020 target of 50,000 volunteering hours and £1m of community investment activity through staff volunteering.

What did the judges say?

Laura Brown, bespoke content officer at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This is a great example of a business understanding the barriers to volunteering and stepping up to the plate to do the legwork on behalf of its people. It's very clear the team at Aviva have a real understanding of what's truly beneficial to its charity partners, ensuring that impact could be most successfully delivered.”

Finalists

Santander UK with the Alzheimer’s Society

The Co-Operative Bank with Amnesty International UK

Premier Inn with the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity

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