Volunteering is good for business

New research has revealed the positive effects of getting staff involved in community volunteering.

The results of a study into employee volunteering at Barclays Bank by the Institute for Volunteering Research highlight the benefits and positive impact of volunteering for both the individual and the company in terms of improving key skills, as well as recruitment and retention.

More than 20,000 Barclays employees from around the world took part in community activities in 2003. Managers said the biggest improvements were in communications (61 per cent) and leadership (56 per cent).

Skills levels also increased with frequency of volunteering, with 56 per cent of those who had volunteered four times or more reporting that their decision-making skills had improved.

However, although 88 per cent of managers saw employee volunteering as an effective team-building exercise, they viewed it less appropriate for delivering formal training, with only 9 per cent rating it as very effective.

Volunteers also reported increased pride in the company and its role in the community, as well as greater levels of job satisfaction.

Matt Sparkes, senior community manager at Barclays, said: “Employee volunteering in the community is a key part of our benefits package and we actively encourage employees to become involved, not only for their own personal development, but also to strengthen our reputation in the community and grow pride in the workplace.”


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