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Volunteering boosts employees during lockdown

As companies struggle to motivate teams working remotely, new research reveals that employers who support their staff to volunteer in schools and colleges find employees to be more motivated, more productive and have a better sense of well-being.

The Value of Volunteering report examines the effect on individuals of volunteering in schools and colleges and the parallel benefits to their employers. It finds that volunteering in UK schools and colleges brings three-way wins, with benefits for employers, staff and young people. 

Volunteers are already playing a vital role in supporting schools and young people during the pandemic. 

For example, volunteers serve as governors to help schools make complex Covid related decisions or support young people by talking about different jobs and giving purpose to children’s learning at a time when this has never been more crucial. 

The Education and Employers charity has also pioneered virtual interactive sessions between volunteers from a wide diversity of backgrounds and young people to help to motivate and inspire them. These sessions are available simultaneously as home-learning and in school for children of key workers.

At a time when some staff are feeling more disconnected from their workplaces than ever before and UK bosses are grappling with how to inspire their teams, Education and Employers are calling on employers to encourage more staff to volunteer in education. 

Education and Employers runs Inspiring The Future and Inspiring Governance which connects volunteers and schools quickly, easily and for free.

Researchers surveyed over 1,000 people volunteering in activities such as career insights talks, mock interviews, mentoring or serving as a school governor. Over 80% of volunteers reported benefits for their communication, influencing & relationship skills and 79% reported improvements to their sense of mission at work. 

Peter Cheese, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: 

When employers help volunteering, it is rewarded with loyalty. This report shows two thirds of volunteers are more likely to speak positively about their employer and half are more satisfied at work. 

Such loyalty can reduce costs associated with turnover and improve how staff interact with customers and partners.

The new research, funded by Bank of America, tallies with previous Education and Employers research which shows that meeting real life role models from the world of work improves academic attainment, increases young people’s earning potential, broadens young peoples’ horizons and raises their aspirations.

Nick Chambers, CEO of Education and Employers, said:  

The pandemic has caused a significant loss of learning for pupils of all ages – experienced most acutely by those from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Volunteers from the world of work provide young people with inspiration, they help broaden their horizons, raise aspirations and increase motivation which leads to improved attainment.

For sign up to help inspire more students, visit www.educationandemployers.org

Image: Education and Employers, taken in 2020.

simon@simonfrancis.org

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise communications.

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