The trend toward taking employee volunteer programs global has been growing for years. And as we announced in April, VolunteerMatch is going global as well, piloting its employee engagement solutions outside the U.S. for the first time. The initiative will begin in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia and we are evaluating additional countries and regions.
As part of VolunteerMatch’s commitment to serve our clients with overseas locations, we were pleased to sponsor LBG Associates’ research on global employee engagement. For the report, “Global Employee Engagement: Challenges and Solutions,” LBG Associates interviewed 36 multinational corporations about the issues they encountered taking their programs overseas and the solutions that have worked for them.
LBG Associates determined that the three biggest challenges global companies face are:
- Managing a global employee engagement program
- Vetting non-governmental organizations (NGOs) outside the home country
- Paying small, employee-directed grants
The report also identified challenges and solutions that are unique to specific employee engagement programs, such as volunteerism, workplace giving, Matching Gifts and Dollar for Doers programs.
With respect to volunteerism, one of the many challenges highlighted was the difficulty companies have finding appropriate NGOs to provide volunteer opportunities for employees. Although local employees can provide insight into different potential partners, the company still has to vet an NGO to make sure it is what it claims to be.
A potential solution, according to the report, is to use third parties like VolunteerMatch to source volunteer projects. To quote the report, “Third parties can be extremely useful, as they likely know the community, the issues and the nonprofits better than the company. They aren’t driven by personal passions, family relationships, political leanings or other factors that can skew employee-sourced volunteer projects.”
Another important point from the research is that companies have to make sure that NGOs are actually ready to host volunteers. In some countries, nonprofits are unfamiliar with the concept of employee volunteers and don’t understand what volunteers can do for them. The report has a handy checklist to assess NGO readiness.
The highlights of the report will be presented at a webinar on July 16, 2014 at 1 PM Eastern.
You can register for the webinar or get the full report at www.lbg-associates.com or by calling LBG Associates at 203-325-3154.