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Why volunteering works wonders for workers

May 2013

The benefits of volunteering for Lloyds Banking Group go well beyond our brand reputation. In reality, the greatest value we see is the effect it has on colleagues who take part. 
 
Every week, articles emerge showing how volunteering programmes create better leaders, bond teams together, uncover and sharpen skills through action based learning, improve staff morale and pride. We see all these things as well as less tangible outcomes, such as a feeling of being better connected to our customers and the issues they are facing. 
 
Hannah Hill, a Halifax employee, delivers money management sessions to 16 to 21 year olds as part of our Money for Life programme.  The programme helps give people the tools to budget properly in the long term. From a personal perspective, Hannah has recently got married and says her money skills have been put to great use: “Money for Life has been a great driver for me to control my own finances and really helped me to budget for my wedding.”
 
Colleagues are encouraged to think about volunteering for their development plans and to have conversations with their line managers about how they might use volunteering through the year. Executive leaders can also choose to have volunteering in their scorecards to demonstrate its importance. 
 
This commitment is really paying off. Our employee volunteering has grown from strength to strength in the last three years, becoming one of the most highly regarded programmes in the UK. The numbers speak for themselves: 7,300 volunteers in 2010, 16,000 in 2011 and over 32,000 in 2012. 
 
We are seeing a growing number of skills based volunteers like Hannah - social enterprise mentors, school governors, reading partners, employability skills workshops. By offering and encouraging a breadth of opportunities, we maintain a programme which has enough of everything for everyone.
 
Working with external partners such as Business in the Community has helped us bring new ideas to the table. For example Business Class, a three-year strategic partnership with a local school involves colleagues at all levels of the business.  Also, Give & Gain Day gives us a focal point where we can mobilise a large number of colleagues to raise awareness of volunteering. 
 
This year will be the third year we’ve taken part in Give & Gain Day and the second we’ve been a sponsor. Colleagues love its simple, high impact concept. 
 
This is an exciting time for our volunteering programme having completed two years of its five year strategy. In 2010, the volunteering strategy wasn’t managed or supported centrally, today there’s a small team and an online management system which means all colleagues have access to opportunities close to them. By the end of 2015, we aim to have supported colleagues in investing one million hours in our communities across the UK.
 
Graham Lindsay is group director, Responsible Business at Lloyds Banking Group
 



Graham Lindsay | UK & NI Ireland | Volunteering

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