For employees at Cenovus Energy Inc., volunteering at Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids is a powerful way to put the company’s values into action.
It all started a few years ago when the Calgary-based oil company developed a program to encourage community volunteerism as an alternative to traditional team-building activities, says Megan Marshall, senior community programs advisor with Cenovus.
“We believe in making positive differences by working with people who inspire, lend a hand and make communities strong,” she says. “What compelled us to get involved with BB4CK was their alignment with our focus areas, how simple yet impactful their model and mission are, and our ability to involve our employees.”
The volunteer involvement was so successful for both the company and the charity, it has led to a deeper partnership. This is a reversal of the typical process in which a financial relationship leads to volunteer opportunities, Marshall says.
“While most often our company-supported volunteer opportunities stem from partnerships, partnerships can also stem from volunteer opportunities. Such is the case with BB4CK. We’ve recently provided broader financial support for their programming to supplement our volunteer involvement.”
On a broader perspective, working with Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids fits in perfectly with Cenovus’s corporate commitment to supporting communities.
“As an Imagine Canada Caring company, we give one per cent of our pre-tax profits to charitable or non-profit organizations each year,” Marshall says. “But we do much more than just write cheques. We are committed to being both invested and involved in the communities where we live and work.”
For employees, volunteering with BB4CK is exciting because the results are immediate. “Our people love volunteering at BB4CK because there is a direct line of sight — they can tangibly see the impact they have made from giving a short amount of their time.”
The benefits to the corporation are tangible as well, she says.
“Giving staff the opportunity to volunteer with organizations like BB4CK creates a cohesive workforce, culture of engagement and sense of pride among employees. Studies show that when employees are engaged, they’re more willing to stay at an organization and they actually become higher performers.”
Cenovus encourages ongoing engagement by matching employees’ contributions to the charities of their choice, dollar for dollar. It’s all part of the company’s commitment to create a positive impact wherever it works.
“Strong community investment programs contribute to engagement and build pride in the organization,” Marshall says. “That’s what we’re doing at Cenovus.”
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