What is ESV and what are the benefits for your team?
We’ve seen recent growth in Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) opportunities and interest from local businesses to provide this for their staff.
So what is ESV, what are the benefits and how can you introduce this into your workplace?
Employer Supported Volunteering:
ESV is a scheme offered by employees to their staff, giving them the opportunity to take paid time off to volunteer during usual working hours. This could be with a charity or community group of the employee’s choice or a place arranged by the employer.
What are the benefits of ESV?
There are many benefits to businesses, employees and the wider community for considering ESV for your business:
- An opportunity for staff to learn new skills and gain valuable experiences, which can be beneficial within the workplace
- A fun alternative to an away day, bringing teams together for shared experiences and strengthening connections
- Increased staff motivation by building a sense of pride in working together to support local community projects
- Support the health and wellbeing of staff by volunteering
- Building your reputation within the community as a socially responsible company
- Attracting new employees and retaining existing staff by providing meaningful opportunities
How can you introduce this into your workplace?
As an employer, you can decide what to include in your ESV policy. Give consideration to:
- Time off. Do you offer flexible working or paid time off for x amount of hours per year dependant upon contracted hours?
- How do you facilitate ESV? Do you coordinate group days, allow reasonable access to work phones etc to make arrangements?
- Provide clear guidance about who is responsible whilst they volunteer.
- Are there certain opportunities that align with your business or conflict?
- Any prior agreements around promotional opportunities or restrictions to consider?
- Who needs to agree time off? What forms need completing? Do you monitor and evaluate?
As with all new policies, developing one that is right for your organisation takes consideration, but a well-managed ESV programme can bring benefits to everyone involved!
A team from Voluntary Norfolk recently helped out at Pact Animal Sanctuary using an ESV day.
Emma, who works for Voluntary Norfolk and CBR Business Solutions said “I had such a great day and came away with that warm fuzzy feeling and sense of achievement you get from volunteering. This day was brilliant on so many levels; we got to support the amazing team at PACT, had some cuddle time with the animals in need, but I also got to spend some quality time away from the office with my lovely colleagues. I feel really thankful to work for an organisation that enables and supports us to have ESV days.”
If you would like support implementing an ESV policy within your workplace, our MCIPD qualified HR consultants can support you with this.
Send an email to our HR team – HR@cbrsolutions.org.uk
If you’re interested in volunteering or looking for volunteering opportunities, take a look at Volunteering opportunities in Norfolk | Get InVOLved Norfolk