Mitchells & Butlers discovers benefits of employee volunteering initiatives

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Staff development: Mitchells & Butlers head of employee relations Caroline Davies (right) and Licensed Trade Charity volunteer Claire Williams
Staff development: Mitchells & Butlers head of employee relations Caroline Davies (right) and Licensed Trade Charity volunteer Claire Williams
Mitchells & Butlers, which was named ‘Overall Best Place to Work’ at the National HR Distinction Awards in February, actively encourages employees to pursue development opportunities in their spare time as it benefits both their workplace skills and community.

A survey of 2,000 people in November 2017 by social platform Neighbourly found that 85% of businesses find that volunteering develops talent.

The research also found that employees who have volunteered with their company are 13% happier than those who have not; with 100% stating that volunteering made them feel proud to work for their company.

Mitchells & Butlers have looked to harness the positivity around volunteering by supporting four of their employees in taking on voluntary telephone befriending roles for the Licensed Trade Charity.

Improved confidence 

Mitchells & Butlers head of employee relations Caroline Davies commented: “We are really passionate about employees’ personal development at Mitchells & Butlers, and have policies in place that allow us to support those who wish to take on volunteering roles.

“For example, we allow reservists up to 10 additional days’ paid leave per year to carry out required training, and we have extended this to an employee who has become a volunteer rescuer so he can complete his training and be able to respond to emergencies.”

“It makes employees more confident and provides transferable skills they can bring back into the workplace, such as being more organised, communicating effectively and with more clarity, enhancing their listening skills and attempting things they might not have previously.

“Our support gives them the chance to experience new things without it affecting their everyday working life, which increases their overall job satisfaction, their morale and engagement with us, and generally makes them happier at work.

Claire Williams from Mitchells & Butlers’ HR department has been volunteering as a telephone befriender for the Licensed Trade Charity since December. “This is my first time volunteering at the age of 42 and I would definitely recommend it.

“It has given me more confidence to speak to people, broadened my communication skills and taught me that not all people can be treated the same way.

“I’ve been asked to speak at the next team briefing to discuss what I do.

"Before telephone befriending I wouldn’t have had the confidence or belief to stand in front of a room of one hundred people, but giving me something to talk about that I enjoy will mean I can do more public speaking in the future”.

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