Newsletter, February 2018

A brief update on what’s been keeping us busy at Three Hands of late and how we’ve been creating business value and social value, hand in hand.


What charities think of employee volunteers

We’ve surveyed almost 200 non-profits on their views and experiences of employee volunteering. They told us that they have a real need for employee volunteers, but that there’s a mismatch between the type of support they’re being offered (cue unskilled team projects) and what they really need – business skills, probono support and fundraising. The report contains five key recommendations for business. You can go straight to the full report here or read some highlights here.

Business skills for charity managers

Talking of sharing skills, that is exactly what Centrica’s UK Home leadership team did for managers at Horton Housing, a non-profit in Bradford supporting some of the most vulnerable people in the community. We designed and ran a ‘mini business school’ which saw Centrica leaders coach charity managers in leadership, compelling communications, customer service excellence and planning for action. In the process the Centrica team learnt a huge amount about people who might also be their most vulnerable customers. There’s more detail and reaction from the Centrica leaders here.

Leaders and the P-word

At last! The P-word – Purpose – seems to be everywhere, and a very good thing that is too. It’s always been a ‘sub plot’ of our work in leadership development, but we think that the time has now truly come to expose future leaders to societal issues and stimulate their thinking on the role of business and society. It was a feature of our work on Balfour Beatty’s High Potentials programme, which saw teams work with non-profits tackling issues of relevance to the business and which is featured in our 2017 Impact Report.

Community engagement: Understanding what employees and customers want

Employee engagement in CR is good news, but old news. More and more companies are looking at new ways to involve their customers in their CR efforts. Ten years ago Waitrose, and soon after John Lewis, launched their Community Matters programmes, which see customers decide how John Lewis Partnership (JLP) donations are distributed. In a bid to build on the success of this programme, we’ve recently conducted surveys, interviews and ran workshops with senior leaders, front-line employees, charities and even customers to understand their expectations of JLP in the community and how they want to get involved. The result was valuable insight and ideas for JLP as they plan the future of their programmes.

That’s all for now. For more case studies, an understanding of the business drivers behind what we do and a summary of the resulting social impact please take a look at our 2017 Impact Report – and do get in touch if you would like to explore any ideas.


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