This project has two goals. On the one hand to report on the state of volunteering at companies in Spain, and on the other hand to raise awareness of and demonstrate several corporate volunteering business practices, in an attempt to demonstrate their value to companies, so that other businesses might adopt similar practices in the future.
In this project we attempt to bring together some of the best corporate volunteer practices from sector leading companies. These stress the advantages and value they bring as part of the company's corporate responsibility strategy.
ABB, Adecco/Adecco Fundación, Aena, CEMEX, Cepsa, Endesa, Ericsson, FCC, Iberdrola, ISS, Grupo Mahou-San Miguel, MRW, NH Hoteles, Orange, Red Eléctrica, & Vodafone are some of the companies that have opted to confer some of their know-how and human and intellectual capital to the community through corporate volunteering programs. In these, employees use their talents and knowledge to help the community and other interest groups, giving them the tools and skills needed to integrate further into society and the world of business. They are activities that benefit everyone, not just the direct beneficiaries but also the volunteers themselves.
As well as demonstrating how some major sector-leading companies run their corporate volunteering programs, this project is the first in Spain to look at what impact these kinds of activities have on corporate culture and human resource management.
Volunteering activities run by companies include new initiatives in which opportunities to develop skills and new abilities represent a key element.
Some of the lessons we all have learnt are the following:
- That business and volunteering make powerful partners that, when well managed, can provide an evident social benefit to the community while helping the company to meet its business targets in a more profitable way.
- The positive results in a company are a greater sense of pride in belonging, the development of skills that are key to the business environment, teamwork, leadership and customer service; and an ability to attract and retain talent.
- In these current times of economic crisis, cost cutting and austerity, volunteering is one of the most readily available tools to generate pride in belonging, and is a unique way of establishing corporate values and putting them into practice.
The biggest measurable impact is the sustainability of this practice over time. Most of the companies analyzed have shown that their corporate volunteer programs have been operating for more than five years and some of them still continue operating these programs.
Moreover, volunteering practices have had an impact in the following areas:
- To develop skills such as leadership, managing responsibilities, teamwork and a customer orientated approach.
- Practicing activities that exemplify these skills, so vital to the running of a business, include reforesting work, sharing a day of sports with the disabled or handing out gifts at a residence for the elderly.
- Personal satisfaction from engaging with the community
- Developing the sense of belonging from the employees.