Champions of Employee Volunteerism in Calgary

Recently, Volunteer Calgary sat down with several of our key corporate partners to learn about the way they approach employee volunteering. Today, we look at two of those partners — Devon Canada Corporation and Encana Corporation. Let’s find out what makes them champions of EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEERISM.

Devon Canada Corporation is a strong supporter of volunteerism within their own company and the community as a whole. Whether they are getting their hands dirty and building a ramp to improve accessibility to a non-profit partner or supporting a partner’s Volunteer Program, community success is of utmost importance to Devon.

For nearly 10 years, Devon has been encouraging their employees to get involved in the community through the Devon Volunteer Network Program. The company assists employees in searching for volunteer opportunities that they can engage with both on their own time and on company time with their coworkers. Additionally, when individual employees log 9 hours of volunteer work over 3 months, they qualify for a $250 grant for a charity of their choice. If a team of employees is volunteering or fundraising for a specific cause, they can apply for a $1000 grant from the company benefiting their charity.

 “Volunteering is the cornerstone of our Community Investment Program,” states Paula King, Supervisor of Corporate Communications & Community Investment. As part of their Community Investment strategy, Devon tries to have a volunteer component with all partnerships, tying in the technical skills of their employees whenever they can. Identified as the “Best Place to Work for Community Involvement and Employee Volunteering” by Alberta Venture Magazine in 2010, Devon attributes this achievement to taking on causes and initiatives that match the passions and interest of their employees.

For companies just starting to explore the concept of a volunteer program, Kray Price recommends, “Start small and profile the champions in your organization. This will start a snowball effect and you will soon see that more people want to join in. Listen to what your employees are saying and find out what they are passionate about.”

Devon is also a proud sponsor of Volunteer Calgary’s Leadership Awards – Volunteer Family Award. Devon sees their long history of family volunteering in two different ways – the Devon family of employees volunteering together and the Devon employees getting their own families to engage in the community. It is also a great way to recognize their employees. Every year, Devon selects one of their family volunteer champions to sit on the selection committee for the award.  

Volunteer Calgary thanks Paula King, Supervisor of Corporate Communications & Community Investment, and Kray Price, Communications & Community Investment Advisor, at Devon Canada Corporation.

Encana believes in supporting the decisions of its employees when it comes to giving back to their communities. While some employees choose to give through donations, which Encana matches,  the company also supports employees who  give their time in support of registered charitable and non-profit organizations.

Over the last four years, through Encana’s employee volunteer program, employees have been able to apply for cash grants for organizations where they (and their families) volunteer their time. Many of these groups are sports associations or community organizations. Encana also supports employee volunteer efforts by posting volunteer opportunities with its community partners on the company’s intranet. In 2011, the program recorded over 14,000 volunteer hours from employees.

Encana employees certainly seem to appreciate the freedom to determine where and how they donate their time or money. In 2011 alone, Encana and its employees gave approximately $6 million to community organizations throughout North America through their employee programs.

Encana has a few words of wisdom for companies just starting to explore employee volunteer programs, “Do your research.” Decide what results you want to achieve, choose the right tools to get those results and then be patient. It takes time for people to get accustomed to using your tools and tracking systems.

Encana is also the proud sponsor of Volunteer Calgary’s Leadership Awards – Leaders of Tomorrow Award. This award recognizes the outstanding volunteer work of Calgary youth. Encana believes these young leaders provide a role model for their peers and that it is important to celebrate their work, share their wonderful stories and encourage them to continue to make a difference in our community.

Volunteer Calgary thanks Kim Young, Community Involvement Advisor, and Erin Olesen, Community Involvement Analyst, of Encana Corporation.

To learn more about how you can start or enhance an employee volunteer program in your company, please contact Janet Kerrigan, Volunteer Calgary’s Corporate Citizenship Coordinator at at 403-231-1428.


About Propellus

Propellus is a non-profit organization that has been empowering organizations since 1955. Through a dynamic range of consulting, training and member services, it helps organizations envision and realize new paths, practices and possibilities. Propellus guides, mentors and educates clients, arming them with tools and resources to help boost organizational effectiveness. Propellus strengthens organizations; in doing so, it leads the way toward building thriving communities.
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