A month or so ago I attended the launch of vinspired’s “Volunteering Works“- a web-based tool that helps businesses implement, deliver and measure corporate volunteering initiatives and opportunities.The product aims to help businesses co-ordinate volunteering whilst bringing together communities and stories. This, vinspired argues, is “good for business, profitability, and retention… It [also] enables businesses to calculate the value employees have brought to the organisation.”
The initiative marks a a new direction for the 4 1/2 year old charity which is better known for connecting 16- 25 year olds with voluntary opportunities through its freely accessible website. With Volunteering Works they break in to territory previously occupied (in terms of age range and software-as-a-service offering) by Do-it. Regardless of how successful V is, their product does indicate that businesses (even in belt-tightening times) are increasingly recognising the need to do public good and offer “more than a job” to employees.
The launch tied in with an idea I had some weeks ago whilst sat at my desk with some spare time on my hands. I would have liked to have filled this time, and am sure that there were many people across the department/ Civil Service who could have given me small pieces of work (“micro work” or “taskets”) to complete. Although sites such as Mechanical turk and Slivers of Time act as temping agencies between organisations/ individuals and other (external) individuals, I’m not aware of organisations that use a simple but effective internal system to link up these two sets of people.
Software such as Volunteering Works goes some way to addressing this as it could be used to advertise micro-volunteering which employees complete when they have a spare half hour. If this could be expanded to all work tasks, however, it could enable the workforce to be more productive, develop through discovering different parts of the business, and learn new skills.
Do you use a micro volunteering or working system in your business? If so I would be interested to hear if/ how it works.
End note: I have started an “Ideas” page on the blog (partially inspired by this post). If you’re interested in collaborating to help make any of the ideas happen I would love to hear from you.