Corporate Volunteering – Taking UPS as an example
by Maisarah Razali
Recently in November, I had a chance to volunteer in the 15th IAVE Asia-Pacific Regional Volunteer Conference, organized by Yayasan Salam. I was assigned as a note taker in the session discussing on corporate volunteering. Among the great speakers that I listened to, there was one particular speaker named Tania Eio, who triggered me to share this post on corporate volunteering topic. Tania is a Director of HR Operations, Asia Pacific Region in the UPS company, where she shared with us an interesting point that how UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company managed to not only giving the best delivery service to its customers around the world, but at the same time empowering its employees around the world to involve in volunteerism.
The method used by the company is very remarkable, and I wish this kind of method will be implemented in Malaysia to inspire and encourage more people to involve in volunteerism. There are three main points that I would like to highlight here. Firstly, as UPS is located in more than 120 countries worldwide, the company actually assigned one leader for each country’s representative to form a volunteer community and NGOs partner to work with. He/ She is given a local ownership to conduct the program, which will be fully funded by UPS itself. Secondly, there’s one “cool” rule they created. As the company has one principle that a leader should always set an example to the employees, the new senior executive level is required to live, work and stay with any NGO for three weeks to make a difference. This is what we called “Actions speak louder than words”, and people will eventually be motivated to do the same when they see their leader translate the words into actions. Thirdly, the recognition and visibility giving by the company to appreciate its employees, who worked hard and sacrifice their own time during weekend need to be applauded. They would invite the family of award recipients and all seniors in upper position level of the company to witness the success and efforts made by their employees in giving back to community.
Since 2011, UPS has produced 15 million volunteer hours, which equivalent to 52 volunteer hours per employee. Part of these hours also contributed to 7 million trees planted globally, a significant achievement to be proud of. Meanwhile in Malaysia, we have started to see growing number of corporates doing corporate social responsibility (CSR) program involving their employees to help local communities. Using the example from UPS, I wish more corporates will have better structured program and effort to empower their employees doing good and creating an impactful project in future.
Lastly from me, “You may pause, but don’t stop, till we see volunteerism is part of our culture!”
Maisarah Razali joined MYCorps South Asia mission this year and is currently an economist at Affin Hwang Capital.