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Manulife: Encouraging Employees to Volunteer in the Community is good for business

As Habitat for Humanity GTA’s official Volunteer Program Sponsor since 2011, Manulife has demonstrated visionary leadership by contributing over $1.2 million dollars since 2004, and by encouraging and mobilizing thousands of employees to become volunteers. This long-standing sponsorship is one of Habitat GTA’s largest to date.

Over the past 12 years, Manulife Financial has sponsored the construction of 12 GTA homes, while providing additional support to all build sites in these communities. In doing so, Manulife and its employees have contributed to the completion of 193 homes, and in the process helped create a better life through homeownership for close to 900 people, almost 600 of which are children.

The impact of this partnership on GTA families has been significant, and the effect on Manulife’s employees has been equally powerful.

In 2011, Manulife conducted a staff survey to explore the impact of its volunteer programs.  As part of the research the company tracked retention rates of employees over a three-year period and discovered that company employees who participated in volunteer projects were three times less likely to leave the company.

In addition to enjoying a sense of pride in contributing to their community and supporting others, Manulife employees cited many benefits including more satisfaction with their work and a better connection with co-workers as a result of volunteering.

Other Canadian companies that have encouraged staff volunteerism and a spirit of philanthropy have seen similar positive outcomes. According to a 2015 Volunteer Canada report on Employer-Supported Volunteering (ESV), 84% of executives at large companies stated that they see direct bottom-line benefits from ESV programs. Volunteering helps staff develop knowledge and skills, enhances their ability to initiate and cope with change, promotes innovation, develops teamwork and interdepartmental cooperation, and raises staff morale and company pride. For every employee who participates in a volunteer program, the report adds, more than $2,400 of value is generated through improving employee engagement; a calculation based on decreasing turnover costs and improved employee performance.

Monique Kavanagh works in Manulife’s Canadian Division and has been a volunteer on a variety of Habitat job sites, most recently on our Brimley Road site. While she certainly appreciates the skill development and personal growth that comes through volunteering, Monique says, “Nothing compares with the satisfaction you feel swinging a hammer and getting to know your colleagues in a new way…knowing that you’re making a life changing difference for families in need by helping them build a home.”

To learn more about team-building volunteer opportunities at Habitat GTA for your company and employees, contact Angela Solomos, Senior Director, Corporate Partnerships atAngela.Solomos@habitatgta.ca .

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