New 50-company study reveals radical changes in Employee Community Engagement

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The COVID-19 pandemic has generated enormous pressures and new needs in society. It has also created new demands on the programs of community organizations and businesses who are committed to social and environment impact, as well new complexities in their relationship with each other. July through September 2020, Volunteer Canada, in collaboration with Volunteer Ireland, undertook a study with 50 Canadian and Irish companies to create a snapshot of the effects of the pandemic on employee community engagement.

Employee community engagement is defined as company-supported activities undertaken by employees to make a positive impact on social or environmental issues.  Examples include volunteering, donating, learning activities, civic action, use of social media, responsible purchasing or waste disposal. At some companies, employee community engagement is part of a larger corporate community engagement (CCE) program which engages other company stakeholders, such as retirees, employee family members, vendors, suppliers, clients or customers.

Findings indicate that companies are looking for creative solutions to continue their employee community engagement activities as they provide benefits to employee well-being and society at large.  With a priority on the health and safety of employees, there is a high demand for virtual volunteering opportunities that, to date, cannot entirely be met by community organizations. There has also been increased emphasis on employee-led activities, yet some companies struggle to engage employees and others are having trouble getting a clear picture of how employees are giving back. Looking ahead, companies are planning to increase emphasis on skills-based volunteering and on opportunities for employees to learn about community issues and the non-profits addressing them as part of their CCE program offering.

Read the full report – The Effects of the Pandemic on Employee Community Engagement – and listen to the [email protected] webinar, where Elizabeth Dove of Volunteer Canada and Terri O’Brien of Volunteer Ireland will discuss the findings.

About Post Author

Elizabeth Dove

Elizabeth Dove is Volunteer Canada’s Director, Corporate Citizenship. She is the organizational lead on supporting companies in their employee/stakeholder community engagement programs. She convenes the Corporate Council on Volunteering, leads the consulting practice, and collaborates with companies and nonprofits to create thought-leadership on CSR practices that provide benefit to communities, talent and companies. She has worked as senior staff and consultant on advancing health issues, empowerment of women and youth, the arts, and international development. Elizabeth holds the McGill-McConnell Master of Management for National Voluntary (Non-Profit) Sector Leaders and was a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work on social justice issues.
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