Volunteering for charities 'makes private-sector employees more engaged'

More effective ways to connect employees to opportunities are needed, Pam Webb of the Zurich Community Trust tells the Funding Your Future conference

Pam Webb
Pam Webb

Companies are keen to work with charities that offer volunteering opportunities for employees because it improves their own business, an audience of charity professionals heard this week.

Pam Webb, head of the Zurich Community Trust and chair of the steering group of the London Benchmarking Group, a membership body for companies interested in community investment, said that volunteering improves the skills of employees and strengthens their commitment to their employers.

"Much as there’s a feeling that supporting charity is the right thing to do, there is an increasing business resonance as well," Webb told delegates at the Funding Your Future conference in London, run by the consultancy Action Planning.

"Improved employee engagement correlates with improved business performance. Engaged employees have less sick leave and are more likely to stay. Giving employees the chance to use their skills to help charities makes them more engaged."

Webb said that a lack of effective brokerage to connect employees to opportunities was "the key thing that is missing at the moment".

She said that a scheme was under way, led by the charity Business in the Community, to increase the number of brokers who could help employees connect with charities.

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