Saturday, May 05, 2007

The EVC is Dead (Long Live the EVC)

Over the last year I have been trying to negotiate with my company to start an Employee Volunteer Committee. This week I finally threw in the towel. Perhaps someone else out there may have better luck implementing the idea.

What I wanted to do was start a committee that organized volunteer activities - say one a month for an afternoon. Employees would volunteer on company time (so the company is really volunteering the time). There are three goals: (1) Help out in the community; (2) Improve camaraderie among employees; (3) Provide good public relations for the company in our community. Some months the events could be held on a weekend, but the basic idea is that it's on company time. In return the EVC will try to think of events that provide good publicity for the company.

The EVC should be fairly large and all members should contribute to events so that the volunteer choices reflect the interests of the employee body. Examples might be: packing food a the local food bank; cleaning up a park in the spring and fall; running a children's craft tent at a summer festival; helping an environmental group to clean up a river; judging at a school science fair; and so on.

When I made the proposal to my company I thought they would want to scale back the idea, and I was prepared to do that (having, say, one event a quarter, or having only half the events be on company time). I was quite suprised that HR took a different stance: they wanted to greatly expand the idea and offload some of their work onto the committee. They wanted the EVC to be responsible for vetting all requests for funding that came into the company (not to make the final decision, but to make recommendations) and they wanted to start a program where every employee got time off to volunteer with the EVC finding volunteer opportunities for everyone and running the whole program.

We went around and around on the same points for months and finally this week I said I was out. Luckily the process was congenial so who knows, something might still come of the idea somewhere in the future.

Or somewhere else?


No comments: