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Missing Out: New Deloitte Survey Finds Most Corporations Overlook Cost-Effective Opportunity to Unlock New Training and Development Resources

Submitted by: Deloitte

Categories: Research, Reports & Publications, Green Jobs & Career News

Posted: Apr 28, 2008 – 09:00 AM EST

 

Majority of Human Resource Managers Agree Skills-Based Volunteerism Would Lead to Tangible Gains; Only 16 Percent Regularly Offer the Option to Employees

NEW YORK, NY - April 28, 2008 - According to the fifth annual Volunteer IMPACT Survey by Deloitte, the overwhelming majority of human resource professionals view skills-based volunteerism as a powerful and cost-effective professional development tool, yet very few companies are leveraging volunteer programs for this purpose.

The national survey of Fortune 500 human resource managers found that, while training and development is perceived as vital to corporate success, many managers are laboring under shrinking or flat budgets, underscoring the need for cost-effective innovation. One solution could be found in an unlikely place — the company's volunteer program. Fully 91 percent of respondents agree that skills-based volunteering (which involves the contribution of business knowledge and experience to help nonprofits increase their capacity) would add value to training and development programs, particularly as it relates to fostering business and leadership skills. However, only 16 percent make it a regular practice to intentionally offer these opportunities for employee development, suggesting a missed opportunity to boost learning in a way that offers substantial benefits.

"Talent development is one of the most critical priorities facing corporate America today," said Barry Salzberg, chief executive officer, Deloitte LLP. "By intentionally linking two often unconnected areas like community involvement and training, innovative companies can meet strategic business goals, save money and, at the same time, release new resources for the community. It's powerful."

According to the American Society of Training and Development, corporate America invests heavily in training and development, spending more than $100 billion a year. The 2008 Volunteer IMPACT Survey revealed that the slowing economy and threat of a talent shortage are placing increased pressure on talent development programs, often without added financial resources. Eighty-seven percent of human resource managers surveyed agreed that their company’s training and development program is under pressure to develop the next generation of leaders, yet 70 percent indicated that their budget either remained flat or decreased over last year. Skills-based volunteer activities are perceived as a cost-effective development option; only 2 percent of total respondents believe that incorporating skills-based volunteering into talent development programs would cost more than traditional training and development options.

"Skills-based volunteer programs provide valuable experiential learning opportunities for employees that build business and leadership skills without the expense often associated with traditional corporate training programs," said Evan Hochberg, national director of community involvement, Deloitte Services LP. "As leading companies become adept at leveraging their community investments to drive key business goals, corporate community involvement programs will be positioned to deliver more business value and social impact."

However, the benefits of incorporating skills-based volunteerism into corporate training and development programs remain largely unrealized. The survey found that even in those companies that do offer skills-based volunteer opportunities, they are generally not viewed as a strategic business tool. In fact, among HR professionals who agree that skills-based volunteering is an effective way to further develop leadership skills, only 13 percent offer it to all employees.

"Corporate America has yet to fully tap the benefits of integrating skills-based volunteerism into talent development strategies and programs," said Susan Burnett, national director of talent development, Deloitte Services LP. "With a focus on learning and development, a volunteer role can become a stretch assignment that develops leadership and client service skills that benefit the volunteer organization, the employee and their company. This will be a priority for Deloitte as we 'refresh' our talent development agenda."

Leading By Example
Already as part of its own training and development program, career and leadership coaches at Deloitte recommend skilled volunteerism to their internal clients for developmental purposes. The organization is also putting in place a process to assign senior managers to support partners, principals and directors in their work on nonprofit boards, which will serve as an opportunity for participants to gain tangible leadership experience in a way that produces measurable results. Deloitte also offers a robust pro bono program, which presents valuable development opportunities for personnel at all levels.

As another example of Deloitte's ongoing commitment to community involvement, on June 6, 2008, Deloitte is hosting IMPACT Day, the organization’s ninth annual celebration of volunteer service. Many of the events that take place on IMPACT Day allow Deloitte's 40,000+ employees to volunteer their business skills to nonprofits in their communities.

The 2008 Volunteer IMPACT Survey is the latest installment in Deloitte’s research series, a key component of the organization’s commitment to building the business case for, and advancing the dialogue about, corporate community involvement. Through compelling research on issues of strategic community involvement, as well as its own world-class program, Deloitte advocates the contribution of intellectual capital to strengthen the nonprofit sector, and the strategic use of community involvement to achieve business goals. For a complete archive of the Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT research series, visit www.deloitte.com/us/community.

2008 Volunteer IMPACT Survey Methodology
This study represents the findings of a phone study conducted by Converge Marketing using a random sampling of Fortune 500 HR managers. The sample size of 250 resulted in a 95 percent confidence level with a + or - 2.2 percent margin of error. Interviewing was completed during the period of February 12 – 20, 2008.

About Deloitte
As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.

For more information, please contact:

Lori Grey Deloitte
Phone: (212) 492-2865
Lindsay Harrington Cone, Inc.
Phone: (617) 939-8465

For more from this organization:

Deloitte

 

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