At Some Companies, the Chance to Give Back Is a Perk

At Some Companies, the Chance to Give Back Is a Perk

Many companies try to attract and retain talent with creative, innovative benefits that have special meaning to their business, reflect their values, or respond to the specific needs and interests of their employees. Employees today—not only millennials—are particularly driven by a sense of purpose and the desire to do meaningful work, and some employers are responding to that desire by giving them opportunities to volunteer or put their skills to work for the public good.

IBM, for example, has launched a series of pro bono programs through which it lends employees out to humanitarian projects, letting them apply their coding, engineering, or management skills to solving social challenges throughout the world. Ben Paynter profiled IBM’s initiative at Fast Company last month:

Since 2008, Corporate Service has sent at least 3,500 workers to projects in 40 counties. Projects include working with Coders4Africa in Senegal to provide programmers business training along with technical skills, a disabled rights group in India to open business processing centers that could create more jobs, and finding ways to boost donations and the distribution range of food banks in Latin America. …

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