October 2015 was Avnet’s inaugural Global Month of Service, where we mobilized, energized and inspired employees around the world to come together to make an impact on the communities where we live, work and play. And I feel confident in saying it was a success.
With more than 40 efforts in 31 days on nearly every continent where Avnet operates, our employees coupled their charitable passions and compassion together for a winning combination helping nonprofits in 17 countries.
Avnet has a long history of community involvement both through financial giving and hands-on volunteerism; in October we concentrated our efforts to unite employees around the world as part of our employee Well-Being program. Avnet supports work-life harmony through a focus on five key elements: physical, financial, career, social and community well-being.
Pulling off this momentous effort took great teamwork, coordination and generous support from our global human resources teams and local employee-led volunteer committees, who were empowered to lead activities to support the needs of the local communities.
Employees organized service projects like visiting the elderly and orphanages, coordinated donations for the refugees in Europe, held blood drives, served the less fortunate and revitalized an elementary school.
Here are highlights from around the world:
Eighty-five employees in India volunteered across eight cities to help the elderly and orphaned children. In Korea, employees donated books, clothing items and funds to a national nonprofit that helps the less fortunate. More than 170 employees in Taipei participated in a blood drive to support the local blood center.
Employees in Belgium donated 34 PCs to a nonprofit that helps provide technology access to people who can’t afford it. Across five cities in the U.K., Avnet employees raised funds for an organization supporting cancer patients and their families. Nineteen employees in Italy joined together for a charity race to help increase awareness for blood donations and raise funds for a linear accelerator to help fight cancer.
The team in Chile spent an afternoon preparing goody bags to lift the spirits of physically and mentally abused children. Employees in Argentina packed meals for a local food bank.
- More than 100 Avnet employees, friends and family members revitalized a Title 1 elementary school in Arizona.
- Five events in Colorado ranged from a blood drive, an open space park clean up, creating care packages for families and children facing critical illness, helping hospitalized children make Halloween crafts and feeding 160 people at a homeless shelter.
- Forty employees in Georgia assembled and delivered more than 100 snack bags to help keep energy and spirits high for the loved ones of children being treated at nearby hospitals.
For organizations looking to take on a commitment of this size and significance, I offer a few simple and key pieces of advice to get you started:
1. Get the right executive support and buy-in.
Our success is a result of leadership championing the effort, and helping promote the importance and value to both employees and the community. The tone from the top matters, and our executives provided the right voice in the conversation.
2. Secure influencers in every region.
It may be local HR teams, marketing teams or sales teams, but finding the right mix of key influencers is essential. A local voice is a loud voice and you want local leaders who can rally the troops in a way that resonates with them.
3. Options create opportunity.
We empowered our employees to lead and identify the activities and nonprofits they wanted to support based on the needs of the local community. Providing this option created an opportunity for engagement. Participation was on a global level, but a local decision to contribute to the impact.
4. Metrics matter.
Identify a consistent method to gather information on the efforts your employees are leading. After all is said and done, to be able to tell your employees the results of the collective effort makes a difference in enthusiasm, engagement and commitment. Our employees are so proud of the concentrated contributions in October. We’re already signed up for 2016.
Through our Global Month of Service we know that when we unite as one, we can make an outstanding impact on local communities and helping nonprofit organizations in need.
Does your company have a global service day, week or month? What inspiring practices were the keys to your success?
Written By: Janet Woods
December 4, 2015