Liberty Global Sets a Remarkable Example in the World of Corporate Volunteering
Liberty Global is a leading telecommunications organization that actively engages in corporate volunteering at all their office locations across the globe. Based in Schiphol-Rijk, in the Netherlands, as well as the United Kingdom, and the United States, every employee at Liberty Global is entitled to 24 hours of paid leave to engage in volunteer work. Overseeing these efforts is, Amadiora Emechete, their Community Impact Manager. Amadiora facilitates volunteering activities for employees and establishes sustainable connections with key social organizations in Amsterdam and the surrounding areas. Numerous requests from teams and individuals for specific projects regularly come in, and Amadiora takes charge of managing these requests.
For volunteering projects in Amsterdam that align with Liberty Global’s Environmental, Social & Governance strategy as well as their Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, Amadiora connected with Business Involved. They focus on digital inclusion, tomorrow’s workforce , supporting environmental initiatives, and fostering an equitable society. However, if employees have other causes that they are enthusiastic about, Liberty Global encourages them to pursue those interests. The emphasis is on ensuring that employees engage in volunteer work that resonate with their passions and sense of purplse, as it is after all, voluntary.
Several sustainable partnerships have already been formed through Business Involved, for example with Girls Forward, an organization which acts as a safe haven for girls aged 12 to 23 in Amsterdam. The aim of Girls Forward is to enhance the self-sufficiency of girls, reduce social isolation, and further develop their talents. Recently, together with Girls Forward, Liberty Global organized a Tech Day where these girls had the opportunity to gain experience about working in the tech industry. Such events significantly influence the perceptions of girls who are yet to make career choices, especially in a field where only 16% of the Dutch tech workforce is female. "We cannot start early enough to bring about change," says Amadiora.
Additionally, Liberty Global is engaged with organizations such as Cybersoek, and Koffiehuis Amsterdam, where they volunteer on a regular basis or engage in conversations trends and needs in the community impact space.
Liberty Global has also established close ties with NAHst. The NAHst Foundation organizes activities and work for and with individuals who suffer from brain injuries. Employees have volunteered there on multiple occasions and helped, for example, during a neighborhood lunch, Winter Fair and barbecue. Both the foundation and the volunteers have always left with positive experiences.
Overall, through Business Involved, multiple valuable connections and many volunteering projects have been initiated for the employees of Liberty Global, who are committed to volunteer.
'Co-creating impact & building relationships.'
For Amadiora, driving impact starts with enabling colleagues who want to engage in the community, find meaningful volunteer opportunities. She ensures a smooth experience on both the community and employee side with well-explained instructions, a brief on what to expect, and the provision of budget to cover costs where required.
When asked what her advice would be for companies contemplating corporate volunteering, she emphasized the importance of considering power dynamics. She highlighted that social organizations sometimes feel obligated to cater to the ideas of large corporations due to their need for financial and in-kind support. As a result, they might accept help that may not be immediately necessary. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to engage in conversations with social organizations to really understand their needs, and collaboratively build sustainable relationships that benefit both sides.
For Liberty Global, taking such an approach has proved to be truly rewarding. Building mutually beneficial relationships with organizations that support the causes close to their employees hearts has helped them connect more deeply with societal issues and raise much needed awareness about them, benefit from diverse perspectives, and strengthen ties within and between teams within the organization. “Sometimes we organize events where everyone can sign up, creating beautiful connections across different departments,” adds Amadiora. Moreover, it is essential to lend a helping hand where needed, reflecting Liberty Global’s commitment to contributing to positive change.
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