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Pledge 1% Team
Head of Strategy & Partnerships, Pledge 1%

Pledge 1% Event: Employee Engagement 2.0: What’s Working Now + Post-Pandemic World [Video]


We are living in the age of a Great Attrition: McKinsey reports that over 19 million people have quit their jobs in 2021. Yet, when employees believe that they are making a positive impact on the world, the attrition rate drops to 12%. 


It's more important than ever to engage employees in social impact


Watch this discussion from ESG experts on how to engage your team in volunteering efforts.  You can also check out our discussion recap below the video. Don't forget to check out the first webinar in the series here!

  • Moderator: Erin Dieterich, Senior Director, Social Impact at New Relic
  • Jessamine Chin, Sr. Director, Social Impact & Innovation - Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) at VMware
  • Amanda Lenaghan, Head of Social Impact & Community Engagement at CRUISE
  • Brian Mattos, Manager, Pro Bono Programs at Salesforce



Discussion Recap


Here are some of the topics covered in the discussion. 


1) The Future of ESG Post-Pandemic


Amanda Lenaghan, Head of Social Impact & Community Engagement at CRUISE, sees a bright future ahead for ESG. While ESG was a growing field before the pandemic, Covid-19 caused companies to emphasize it more than ever before. Accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) announced a $12 billion plan to create 100,000 ESG jobs over the next five years. 


VMWare's Jessamine "Jessa" Chin predicted that most jobs in the near-future will have an ESG element, even if it's not in the job title. She champions a model of citizen philanthropy where everyone's actions contribute to a larger social good. For example, even though data centers in general are responsible for 2% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, VMWare's team of engineers, managers, and salespeople worked together to build a product that prevented 540 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. 


Brian Mattos, Salesforce's Manager of Pro Bono Programs, also emphasized examining employee engagement on an individual sense of purpose versus just their connectedness to the company's social missions. Currently, he uses Maha ESG People Intelligence software to help track employees' overall connectedness to purpose. 

Erin Dieterich, Senior Director of Social Impact at New Relic,  also advocated for an broad ESG perspective across the board. When more employees and stakeholders are included, the impact can only grow. 


2) Pro Bono Volunteering


Pro bono volunteering was a hot topic at this discussion (and not just because it's pro bono week!). Each expert gave a hot tip for companies to implement pro bono volunteering. 


New Relic's Erin Dieterich encouraged companies to view volunteering on three levels:

  • "Extra hands" volunteering - a continuous effort for many people (ex. a food kitchen)
  • Skilled volunteering - a one-off or ongoing activity that relates to your profession (ex. mentorship)
  • Pro bono work - donating the specific service that your company pays you for (ex. an ad agency marketing a nonprofit) 

Each separate type can expand the capacity of how your organization can serve a greater good. 


Lengahan at CRUISE expanded on this point, remarking that companies should view employee time as an untapped asset that can help nonprofits. This graphic from the Taproot Foundation  illustrates how companies can give back.




For pro bono work specifically, Chin recommended a process that she has used at her 10+ years at VMWare. Divide each project into four discrete phases:

  1. Discover - learn what the nonprofit needs
  2. Design - plan a program to assist the nonprofit
  3. Implement - activate your program
  4. Maintain - continue to assess and fine-tune your efforts

By breaking down the process into four stages, a company can avoid rushing to implement a plan that doesn't necessarily work for all parties. In addition, each phase gives both the nonprofit and employees to assess their commitment. If an employee is less engaged at one stage, another can step in.  


Salesforce's Mattos advises the importance of offering a variety of options to your employees. Over 5,000 employees use Salesforce's internal volunteering platform, Volunteer Force, to sign up for pro bono volunteering each year. Projects can be posted for teams and individuals and range from hour- to month-long commitments. 


Additional Resources

Speakers and audience members also shared these resources throughout the discussion:

Tech Pro Bono Opportunities


Engaging Employee Volunteers 

What about you? 


Do you have a pro bono program at your company? How do you get employees involved in volunteering? Any questions for our experts? Let us know in the comments below!