Posts Tagged ‘business’
Upon meeting vinspired’s Youth Advisory Board, I was amazed at what a clever, creative and innovative bunch of people they were and what a valuable asset they all were to a young people’s charity. It got me thinking: why aren’t groups like this being set up and used in the commercial sector? For example, retail.
It’s common practice for businesses to hold focus groups in order to gain a better understanding of their customers’ needs and behaviours. But most of the time, these people are complete strangers with very little understanding of how the business operates internally.
Last month, the ‘Queen of Shops’, Mary Portas warned that the high street is in serious decline and that many businesses needed to innovate or face extinction.
Having your own youth board specifically tied to improving business performance throughout the organisation may be the breath of fresh air that many industries need in this economic climate.
Sir Philip Green announced last month that he’s closing around 250 of his Arcadia stores, with almost a third of employees being young 16-24 years old.
But businesses need to think very carefully before they lay off their young staff – especially if (in Philip Green’s case) they are the company’s primary customer base. Their grass roots experience may just hold that golden nugget in keeping your business alive in 2012.
With the online retail sector looking to break the £56 billion mark by 2014, businesses need to take advantage of the new digitally savvy members of Generation Y/Z and use their fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to move forward. Setting up your own youth board may be the answer.
They say the children are the future, but they are also your customers – listen or lose ‘em.
v recently hosted a round table bringing together leading figures from the Institute of Directors, Global Radio, Sky and Enterprise Car Rental. The panel debated issues around volunteering in the workplace and it was clear that all of the attendees have a real passion for volunteering and the benefits that it can bring to a business.
The group came to the swift conclusion that volunteering has the ability to develop real and tangible skills for employees; in some instances actually replacing more traditional forms of training. While businesses differ in their approach to volunteering, most treat is strategically. Looking at what it has to achieve to deliver back to the business, setting clear and measureable targets then tracking and reporting those outputs on a regular basis were seen as valuable. With target setting the key was having both quantitative and qualitative measures that show both the development of skills as well as the engagement levels of employees.
In short, many organisations are already heavily engaged in volunteering and reaping the benefits, with a huge number of success stories out there.
But there are also barriers, such as time to source volunteering opportunities and the need for simple, easy to use solutions from charities.
At v, we want to showcase these success stories and would love to hear about employers’ programmes. If you are only just starting down this path and thinking of setting up a programme, take look at our recent research on the attitudes towards workplace schemes. And give us a call or email to talk about it, as we know that making volunteering work is rewarding both for your organisation and for your staff.
And, if you want help with employee volunteering, our Volunteering Works programme and team is here to help.