9 Tips on Corporate Volunteering, Louise Dean (Dell Technologies)
Communiteer is proud to present stories of organisations that have created successful volunteer programs, lifted employee engagement levels and scaled social impact as part of our Leaders in Corporate Volunteering series. In our second event, we had the privilege to feature Louise Dean, Global Sales Strategy & Enablement at Dell Technologies (Social Impact).
Here are 9 tips on corporate volunteering from Louise:
1. Social impact is no longer just a good thing to do
Social impact is being demanded by the industry and by the investors. That’s why something like ESG investing is being talked about so much right now. Louise even believes that if the 2020 buzzwords were sustainability and climate change, the 2021 buzzwords are ESG investing and biodiversity loss. If everyone is demanding social impact, you need to have a solid program delivering that.
Social impact isn’t just a good thing, it’s demanded, and you need a program delivering that.
2. People want to work for companies with purpose
This is especially the case with younger employees. It’s no longer just about the paycheck for them, but they want to be associated with the right company that shares their goals. So, how are you going to communicate your purpose with new and potential employees?
3. Set specific goals and measurements
Dell has some very specific goals and measurements, and they’re tracking them every quarter, every year, for every milestone. That’s because they believe it’s essential to:
- Call out the goals
- Measure those goals
Louise strongly believes that “what gets measured gets done”, so it’s worth taking time to come up with very specific goals and measurements.
4. Conversations around change have to come from the top
While you want your employees to volunteer, it’s ultimately up to the leaders to advocate for that change, so ultimately it’s top-down driven. In fact at Dell Technologies, every leader is told it is their job to integrate social impact into everyday conversations, not just those in the Corporate Services Team or Social Impact Group. How are you going to mobilise your leaders to drive that social impact?
5. If you don’t have awareness, you can’t do anything
You need to drive awareness first if you want your employees to volunteer. At Dell Technologies, this translates to regular emails detailing all the volunteering events that are happening. Every quarter they also get everyone in the company on a call to share their Progress Made Real volunteering opportunities.
Regularly share these volunteering opportunities
6. Volunteering doesn’t have to be physical
There are so many options to volunteer and some of the ways don’t have to require going to a physical event. Louise makes the example of donating clothes and books, as well as recycling, all of which are still counted as volunteering hours. Of course, virtual volunteering was popular during COVID-19, and it’s here to stay. Louise speaks of an example at Dell Technologies, called Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, where only 15 minutes is needed to contribute to science – all from the comfort employees’ own home!
Utilise non-physical volunteering opportunities
7. Think global, act local
As Dell Technologies is an international company, they know all too well that whenever there is a new social impact program, the first question is always: “What does it mean to us locally here?”
To answer this question, Louise reminds us of the “glocal” concept. You have to think globally and act in line with your global strategy, but you have to act locally. There must be a local task force to come up with the goals and steer the local company towards them. Including specific targets that are locally relevant and specific local charities to partner with.
8. Promote the joys of giving
A lot of audience members were asking how to go about inspiring people to volunteer. Louise’s tip is to concentrate on promoting the positive feelings of volunteering. Often, we hear about the cause to try and tap into people’s emotions. At the end of the day, it has to be enjoyable for people to spend time doing it. Find out what they enjoy is just as important as finding out about the causes they care about!
9. Promote the career benefits of volunteering
Louise finds that those who engage and take action are the ones whose careers are fast-tracked. She strongly believes she was promoted to her current position because of all the volunteering committees and opportunities she was involved in! So the next time you’re trying to get your new employees or graduates to join your corporate volunteering program, concentrate on the career benefits. Think about it, they would be socialising across different teams, all while doing and feeling good about themselves!