An employee volunteer program can benefit more than the community. A new study by Manulife Financial suggests that such programs can also help develop essential skills to advance their careers.

The study, Bridging the Gap, notes the benefits of a common trend among some of Canada’s most successful companies to establish employee volunteer programs.

In order to capitalize on skills-building potential Manulife and Volunteer Canada have developed a tool titled SkillsPlus. The tool identifies the skills required for certain occupations as well as the core competencies that enable people to be highly effective employees.

Employees and managers can use SkillsPlus to assess the career-development benefits of volunteering while non-profit organizations can use it to design their volunteer opportunities.

“Corporations that have a robust corporate citizenship strategy which integrates community involvement by actively supporting their employees’ desire to participate in community are setting the tone for more innovative volunteer engagement in Canada where all parties can benefit,” said Ruth MacKenzie, president and CEO, with Volunteer Canada.

Manulife plans to build on the SkillsPlus tool to develop new employee volunteer strategies by working with employees to better understand their volunteering styles, what they’re looking for in a volunteer experience, and how they hope to make a difference in their local communities across Canada.

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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