Q&A Paula Aldrige
Paula Aldridge, Employee Volunteering Manager at British Gas, got in touch with GivingForce when they were searching for a solution to help increase employee engagement with volunteering.
Paula, how do you use the GivingForce portal?
In April this year British Gas re-launched its volunteering programme, with the aim of getting 1 in 3 of our people volunteering by 2018. We needed a robust system to allow our 30,000 employees to not only be able to search for quality opportunities but to be able to record hours personally and for us to be able to analyse the data. The GivingForce portal has been crucial in our drive to increase volunteering at British Gas and in helping me manage our employee supported volunteering programme.
“They are very responsive to our needs as a business and have a great ‘can do’ approach to any changes we may want to make to the portal”
What differences have you noticed in your role since you began using the portal?
It takes me less time to manage our volunteering from the administration side. Now that everything is on one system it allows activities and data from regional BG locations to be gathered centrally. I’ve been able to focus my time differently as a result, concentrating on our partnered relationships with the charities and being able to drive our volunteering opportunities aligned to our CR strategy. With the automatic reporting feature, I now spend less of my time preparing reports and more time looking at them!
What has the difference been for your employees?
Employees can find out about our volunteering opportunities much more quickly and easily. We had previously experienced communication problems as many of our employees are not desk-based and without regular access to email. Luckily the GF portal can be accessed by mobile and tablet. The portal has also become a place for employees to gather and share experiences, helping to grow a BG culture around volunteering. Of course, we notice the benefits of employees who volunteer, once they return to work with fresh insight and skills.
“We know we have a system and team which can be relied upon.”
What is the most exciting part of the portal for you?
It is great to be able to manage and edit the portal directly and immediately, which is a big plus for us, and that I can give back end access to nominated persons across the business. I also like the ability to be creative when customising the design of our portal. From admin mode it’s easy for me to add and edit elements of the dashboard, which inspired us to upload monthly campaigns around volunteering themes. I’m excited to see other elements which might evolve in the future!
How have you found working with the GF team?
I have known the team for at least a year now, and they have been fantastic to work with, and have gone above and beyond to help BG make the programme a success. They are very responsive to our needs as a business and have a great ‘can do’ approach to any changes we may want to make to the portal. I can contact the GF team at any time with queries, and know that they will be quick to respond. We know we have a system and team which can be relied upon.