3 Reasons IBM's International Volunteering Works

by Network for Good Specialist ‎03-22-2013 3:00 AM, EDT

 

By Allison McGuire

 

While we’ve featured IBM many times, we’re in employee engagement mode (our new eGuide is proof of that), and thought their international Corporate Service Corps (CSC) program was worth mentioning again.

 

How CSC works: IBM sends 10-15 employees—ranging in skillsets and national origin—to a developing market for four-week assignments that are pre-scoped by NGO partners such as CDC Development Solutions.  At the intersection of business, technology, and society, IBMers work with and within communities to solve economic development problems.

    IBM CSC volunteers 

 

We had a chance to chat with Tom Vines, VP of Business and Technical Leadership, who is behind much of the CSC design and implementation. Here are 3 takeaways from our conversation:

 

1) Business alignment is key. “CSC is perfectly aligned with our business strategy—we’re a globally integrated enterprise—to service clients, many of which are global,” says Vines. “It’s not just a feel good program; it’s business savvy too. We wanted to look at opportunities to enable our employees to be effective with their global footprint [and]…make sure employees had opportunities to work in global teams. We think about the strategy of being a smarter planet, and we build global citizens to help.”
 
2) Engaged employees increases retention. While the program’s most tangible benefit is better service for their clients, employees involved in this program gain critical leadership skills. Through exposure to different cultures and practicing in new work styles, CSC participants ultimately see “a bigger picture of what IBM can do…[making employees] more comfortable in working with diverse groups and engaging in creative problem solving.”
 
3) Social media #ftw. CSC participants use social media to engage IBM’s employees and clients along their journey. “As we begin to live in a more networked society, we need resources and individuals to help enrich solutions,” explains Vines.

 

“Social media helps employee engagement and bottom-line innovation. By giving employees access in this way, we’re engaging them on a new exciting level.”

 

 

We agree! If you’ve yet to download our free eGuide on employee engagement, now is your time.

 

What do you think? Is your company using social media to engage employees in social good programs? How?

 

 

Image via IBM: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/corporateservicecorps/

 

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