Because of these attitudes, there is a growing recognition in both the public and the private sectors that corporations need to be more proactive in promoting employee volunteerism. To do this, companies must freely provide time off for participation in volunteer programs; publicly acknowledge, either with promotions or awards, employees who volunteer the most and do it successfully; and set up mentoring programs in which senior executives work with employees in one-on-one sessions to help them navigate obstacles that arise during volunteerism.
Only when these approaches and others are used to demonstrate the corporation’s full approval of and engagement in volunteerism will these companies inspire reluctant employees and give them productive volunteer experiences that are good for them, for the company, and for the community.
Richard Pound ([email protected]) is the chancellor of McGill University and a partner in the law firm Stikeman Elliott. He has volunteered with the Olympic Games for more than 40 years.
Karl Moore ([email protected]) is an associate professor at McGill University’s Faculty of Management. He is coauthor of Foundations of Corporate Empire: Is History Repeating Itself? (Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2000). Professor Moore has been a volunteer for more than 20 years.