How do you measure a year? “In love,” according to the hit musical “Rent.” In October, ServiceNow employees globally showed their love by volunteering during our first-ever Month of Service.
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Employees answered the campaign’s theme of “What can you do with an hour?” by participating in a wide variety of in-person and virtual events to make a global impact:
Cleaning litter from parks and beaches
Recording audiobooks for hospitalized children
Sorting and packing at food banks
Learning sign language and filming a video
Our measure for the month? Nearly 7,000 hours.
Here, three of the nearly 1,000 employees who took part in Month of Service discuss their experiences giving back to their communities and bonding with their colleagues.
Making a difference and making friends
David T., a product success manager in enterprise DevOps, felt nervous walking up to a large group of ServiceNow employees gathered on a beach in Santa Cruz, California. David, who lives a mile from that beach, had joined the company only five months earlier and knew no one there. But he says he felt immediately welcomed. “It was like, ‘These are my people,’ and we’re all here to help,” he recalls.
As the volunteers collected trash and recyclables (56 pounds of it), David got to know colleagues who worked in finance, marketing, support, and DevOps. He connected with several employees who also work in Santa Cruz. “Before the cleanup, we all could have been driving down the highway on our way to work every day, passing each other, and we wouldn’t know that we’re right in each other’s backyards,” he says.
David has already signed up for the next local beach cleanup. “What a great way to connect and do good for the planet!” he says.
Restoring a local treasure for all to enjoy
Tomer A., a quality assurance engineer in service mapping and a member of ServiceNow’s Global Impact Council in Israel, proposed several volunteering opportunities to the Israeli team. The one with the most votes was a cleanup of the Ben Shemen Forest in central Israel. It’s a favorite spot for picnics, hiking, and bike riding and contains historical sites.
“People’s awareness of the environment is growing. They understand that doing something like this cleanup is important and worth their time,” Tomer says.
In two hours, the group of 17 employees filled three large trash bags and even hauled away a portable plastic bathtub.
The Israeli team has the highest volunteer participation rate of any ServiceNow office. Tomer thinks it’s because leadership across the company strongly supports volunteering, and the local culture team is passionate about their work.
He joined the culture team about a year ago, eager to contribute. “It’s something that was missing at the company I used to work for, so when I was asked to join the council, I didn’t hesitate,” he says.
Building bonds with far-flung colleagues
Katalin T., a senior customer support representative and team lead for customer support administration, organized two virtual events for her geographically dispersed team in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Both were managed through the virtual volunteering service of ServiceNow partner Goodera, which helps companies advance their volunteering and other global impact initiatives.
One event involved sending anonymous letters of support through Letters to Strangers, a global nonprofit that works to destigmatize mental illness and improve access to treatment for youth. Katalin and her fellow volunteers selected the topics they wanted to write about and then wrote messages of understanding and encouragement. Katalin chose to write about teen suicide. “I really hope that what I wrote will be helpful to someone at some point,” she says.
The other event was for the US nonprofit 826CHI, which serves youth. The volunteers learned sign language and then recorded a video message signing the word “love.” The videos will be sent to youth with hearing impairments.
Virtual volunteering is a great way to bond with your team, Katalin says. Because her group works in three countries, it’s hard to build a sense of community. “I was really happy to see how popular these events were among my colleagues," she says. "They’re always asking when the next event is scheduled.”
What might you do with an hour?
Throughout the year—not just for one month—ServiceNow employees across the globe help individuals and communities thrive. As part of our Global Impact program, employees get 20 hours of paid time off per year to volunteer for causes they care about.
Despite the restrictions on engagement brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to make a difference during those “525,600 minutes” invoked in the “Rent” song.
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