At a general level, the challenge for Toyota Motor Europe is to develop employee volunteering at our companies across Europe. The challenge for each Toyota company in Europe is: 1) To select relevant employee volunteering initiatives aligned with the company's strategic direction for social contributions and the local community needs, 2) to promote the practice of employee volunteering, 3) to ensure employee volunteering contributes to employee motivation, and 4) to liaise with local partners to maximize effectiveness of the projects.
Starting with the financial crisis in late 2008 Toyota European factories experienced consecutive momentary reduction in production volumes. Despite the economically challenging climate in 2008, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) wanted to continue their contributions to the local community.They addressed this challenge through the Community Gardens' project (see The Initiative).
Toyota Motor United Kingdom (TMUK) employees have volunteered to create a number of Toyota Community Gardens in the area near the company's office. Two projects have already been completed with others scheduled. The two completed projects were undertaken in cooperation with TMUK employees and two local NGOs: the South Derbyshire Community Volunteer Service and Grow 2 Grow. In the first project, a team of Toyota workers have used the current production downturn as an opportunity to transform a community garden into the Homestart garden. The garden will be used to promote vegetable growing and healthy eating by Home-Start South Derbyshire. In the second project at a local day care centre for adults, volunteers have built raised beds and renovated the community areas of the centre's garden.
The benefits from the solution are:
- Employee motivation
- Practicing corporate values in specific projects
- Close cooperation with local stakeholders
- Positive visibility for the employees and the manufacturing plant in times of negative economical news