Corporate volunteering as a strategic asset to support corporate goals for employee engagement and development

Corporate volunteering as a strategic asset to support corporate goals for employee engagement and development

Michael Regnet, Allianz SE (Germany)
Tanya Bell, RBC (Canada)
Stephan C. Koch, UPJ Netzwerk (Germany)

Moderator: Kylee Bates, IAVE (Australia)

A key element of the discussion was the relationship of corporate volunteer programs to the human resources function of the company.

Tanya Bell of RBC (Canada) spoke of the challenges and opportunities that came with the employee volunteering program moving from the public relations/community division of the company across to human resources.  Michael Regnet, Allianz SE (Germany) argued that in order to maximize the human resource functions it was more effective for corporate volunteering programs to sit within the human resources function, especially when there was a focus on skill-based volunteering.  Stephen Koch representing UPJ Netzwerk (Germany) highlighted the difference between corporate volunteering and human resource development through community engagement. 

Some of the discussion during the Forum centered on how corporate volunteering can have an impact on both employee engagement and employee development, noting that the two may not always occur in tandem or in parallel and that other factors such as structure of the program, its defined objectives within the company and the priority it is given by the respective areas of the business all play a role.  Corporate volunteering was identified as a positive contribution to corporate leadership programs and measurement of the role of corporate volunteering on employee engagement and development was quite advanced in some companies with some companies linking it to their employee engagement surveys.  No matter where within a company the corporate volunteering programs were ‘housed’ the human resources unit was seen as important to helping to embed the program and deliver optimal results. 

Prepared by Kylee Bates, Moderator


Presentation by 
Stephan C. Koch, UPJ Netzwerk

STEPHAN C. KOCH is the head of UPJ’s consultancy and training unit. He has developed UPJ’s consultancy products, and has manages consulting and training projects. Stephan supports companies in developing CSR programs and also helps with its implementation. He developed a training concept combining employee engagement with HR development formats.

MICHAEL REGNET is the Community Engagement Manager at Allianz SE and is responsible for companywide citizen activities with a special focus on Corporate Volunteering and the network of social partners including Allianz foundations. He manages the “Social OPEX” program, which offers pro bono quality management for social entrepreneurs worldwide.

TANYA BELL is the Manager of Employee Volunteering and Fundraising for RBC, with responsibility for strategy, developing and managing programs effecting almost 80,000 employees globally. Her encouragement of cross platform collaboration and understanding both the business, socio-economic and community impacts, are identifying features of her experience to date.


KYLEE BATES is the World President for the International Association for Volunteer Effort. She is currently the General Manager Jobactive for Advanced Personnel Management. She previously served as the State Director of Service Delivery for Mission Australia, one of Australia’s largest non-profit community service organizations, and was also the Deputy CEO of Volunteering Australia for over four years.