How can your workplace help your community?
This week marks the start of volunteering week, which recognises the incredible impact volunteers make in their communities across the UK.
Here at Maximus, we understand the importance of volunteering and working together to positively impact our local communities. We’ve seen first-hand the difference it can make to transforming lives.
How can your workplace help your community?
Create opportunities to add social value
What do we mean when we say social value? Social value is ultimately about adding a positive and long-lasting impact to benefit communities. The Social Value Portal, provides further information and ways to measure the positive value businesses create for the economy, communities, and society.
Here at Maximus, social value is the additional benefit we provide to communities over and above the services we deliver. This includes reducing carbon, employing local people, diverse supply chains and our colleagues using volunteering time to support communities with local community projects.
A good place to start when it comes to adding social value, is to consider how your business can do more ‘good’ in your community and create opportunities.
Here are some examples of social value:
- Encouraging your staff to volunteer
- Working with community organisations
- Making charitable donations
- Helping people on probation
- Hiring an apprentice
We’ll explore these suggestions further throughout this piece. We’ve previously written about the benefits of hiring an apprentice, have a look to see if this is something of interest to your business.
Focusing on social value is important as your business can help create a positive impact in your local community. The decision to make one small change could make a huge difference, here are some ideas to help you get started.
Encourage staff volunteering
Volunteering is a great way your workplace can help the community. According to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) community and voluntary sectors value enthusiastic volunteers with specialist skills, expertise and knowledge. Employer-supported volunteering (ESV) programmes, delivered with clear communication and effective support, can make a long-lasting impact in your community. By encouraging staff volunteering, you’re showing your organisation cares and wants to make a difference.
ESV programmes also benefits your organisation and team. They can help build a stronger team and boost team morale. You’re giving your team a chance to give back and get involved with issues they care about. Plus, volunteering can help build their communication skills, resilience, and team working.
At Maximus, we offer our staff volunteer days, and we love to see the difference it makes in our local communities. Some organisations we’ve supported told us that no-one has ever volunteered with them before, and our presence made a real difference. You can watch this quick video to find out more.
Working with community partners
There’s an abundance of knowledge and expertise within your community, some of which you may not even know about. Our Community Partnership Network (CPN) focuses on working together in partnership with local experts, to enhance our delivery.
The CPN is a long-term partnership between organisations in the public, private and third sectors. We share the belief that supporting more people into quality work helps individuals and communities to thrive. Working at a regional level, each CPN brings together organisations to integrate and align services for jobseekers, and fund innovative support to help more people find work.
Our dedicated research team discovered that the CPN generates real social value. It helps tackle economic inequality, supports equal opportunity, and improves community integration. Our researched showed that the vast majority of our partners valued their membership of the CPN (83%). The CPN provides members with a forum to collaborate and share information, resources, skills and knowledge. By joining, you can tap into the insight and make a difference in your community.
Charis Green, Head of Community Partnerships at Maximus, said, “The Community Partnership Network sits at the heart of our delivery model. By working in collaboration with organisations who deliver specialist support, we can help to better enhance the opportunities available for our participants; whilst also supporting the communities we serve. The opportunity to work alongside other partners, sharing ideas and resources is hugely beneficial for everyone involved.”
Another way your workplace can add social value and impact your community is through charity donations. We all understand that the past few years have hit many sectors hard, from the Covid-19 pandemic to a cost-of-living crisis. More people are in need, but less people are able to help. Our team over at Connect Assist explained how the charity sector in particular has been hit.
Payroll Giving is a scheme that enables employees to give to charities straight from their gross salary. While this may not be feasible for every organisation, it could be worth considering this option for your business. According to the Charities Aid Foundation employee giving is playing an increasingly important role in channelling resource into the charitable sector. Payroll Giving provides over £160m to charities every year.
Here at Maximus, we’ve got the Maximus Foundation. It’s a registered charity, which supports other charitable organisations by providing monetary grants. Our colleagues can ‘opt in’ to payroll giving, or raise money through fundraising, and all colleague donations are match-funded by Maximus. This offers a fantastic opportunity to positively impact social value and enables colleagues to make a meaningful contribution towards charitable giving.
Helping people on probation
One of the other ways your workplace can support the community is helping people on probation. The Probation Service’s Education, Training and Employment (ETE) programme can help you, help people. It offers up to three months of support to people on probation to find work, or access skills and training. According to Gov UK, 81% of people think that businesses employing ex-offenders are making a positive contribution to society.
Craig Walker, ETE Contract Director at Maximus explained that people who return to work are less likely to re-offend. This can reduce the negative impact of offending on families, victims, and local communities. In the process, this will lessen the financial burden that offending places on broader society. It is estimated that the economic and social cost of re-offending is £18.1 billion a year. Hiring a person with criminal convictions can benefit your business and have a lasting impact on the community.
You can create a more inclusive workforce and achieve your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals by supporting local people with barriers back into work.
Here at Maximus we understand the importance of community and giving back. Whether it’s through volunteer programmes, hiring from diverse backgrounds, or partnering with local stakeholders.
If you want to get more involved with creating an impact in your community, we’re here to help. Reach out to one of our friendly team today, and we can help you, help your community.