A common barrier to volunteering in the workplace is the shortage of time. This problem can be even more acute for senior business leaders. However, short-term volunteering opportunities that match people’s professional skills and experience to specific needs in community organisations and schools are a way to engage employees in a time-efficient way for positive impact.
Three’s support for the Management Excellence for Principals (MEP) programmes shows how senior business leaders can use their professional skills over a half-day to make a real difference in the community.
The MEP programme is run by Business in the Community’s Schools’ Business Partnership (SBP). School principals choose a theme based on their needs. Examples are Leadership, Time Management, Performance Management and PR & Marketing. SBP liaises with the principals and relevant business professionals to arrange the workshop to suit participants and presenters.
Three hosted a workshop for school principals at which two of their managers presented on PR & Marketing and engaged the attendees in a hands-on, practical session. The feedback from the participants shows how successful it was:
Another comment from the school principals captures the essence of MEP – the fact that business skills are often very relevant to schools and community organisations:
Maria Hynes, Communications Manager, Three Ireland who volunteered on the day said, “In a time pressurised job, long-term volunteering can be a challenging commitment so it was great to get the opportunity to volunteer one morning to give a workshop on public relations for the Management Excellence for Principals (MEP) programme. It was very rewarding to be able to give direction and advice to the principals and I also learned a lot from them. As they say, every day is a school day!”
Time is at a premium for our educators and for business professionals but through the Management Excellence for Principals programme business volunteers have a way to have a positive impact on our schools in a relatively short space of time.