Since 2020, employees from Visma e-conomic have volunteered. Jessica, Ivan, Toni and Sara have hosted workshops with students from HackYourFuture. An organisation helping refugees, asylum seekers and disadvantaged groups with limited access to the Danish labour market. Because of their good experiences, we will introduce a corporate volunteering program for all employees in 2022. This will be an employee benefit and a way to engage everyone in our sustainability journey. We call the program #VolunteerwithVisma. In this blogpost you can read more about four of our happy volunteers and find out what it means to be able to volunteer during working hours.

Giving back to society

Jessica grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and volunteering has always been a part of her life. When she began in Visma e-conomic, she talked to her manager about giving back to society. Quickly HackYourFuture caught their attention:

When I started working in Visma e-conomic, I asked my colleagues if they were up for volunteering. I felt like we had so much to give back. It turned out that some of my colleagues already volunteered in their spare time for HackYourFuture.”

Like Jessica, a lot of her colleagues have experienced how difficult it can be to enter the Danish job market if you come from other countries. They therefore decided to give back and help others in the same situation by volunteering for HackYourFuture. In 2020, they hosted the first workshops with focus on UX design and a .NET masterclass for HackYourFuture students. The workshop and masterclass consist of knowledge sharing but also real life cases that give the students an idea of working in a software company, and at the same time it gives the volunteers a unique opportunity. Ivan says:

I always wanted to help people in need and help others to learn to program. HackYourFuture .NET Masterclass came as a good opportunity to combine this.”

For Toni, it was also about contributing to something that matches his skills. He has therefore helped as a mentor for the students’ final projects. And right now he is helping Ivan organize the masterclass for HackYourFuture students coming to Visma e-conomic. For HackYourFuture, the Visma e-conomic volunteers make a big difference. Christopher Klüter, social Entrepreneur & Founder of HackYourFuture, says:

”We will soon celebrate our 5 year anniversary with HackYourFuture and we’re still absolutely in awe of the continued support and incredible dedication from the volunteers active in our program. It’s truly humanity at its best – the passion is infectious and with now close to 150 HackYourFuture graduates having landed jobs in the Danish IT industry there is also a lot to be proud of for the volunteers who passed on their knowledge and experience. The impact volunteers have on people’s lives will last them a lifetime.”

Sara volunteered for HackYourFuture for the first time at a workshop in 2021. It means a lot to her that she can volunteer during working hours and use her skills to make an impact:

“Volunteering can also be mentoring and it is amazing to pass on your knowledge and see that it makes a difference to others. I feel like our small effort makes a huge impact and I am looking forward to volunteering again.”

VolunteerwithVisma in 2022

Both Sara, Ivan, Toni and Jessica point to the fact that the IT sector has a lack of resources. A situation that is also affecting Visma e-conomic. They have seen for themselves that there is a huge potential in the students from HackYourFuture and it gives them a purpose to unite their skills and time with a current societal challenge. In addition to this, all four of them feel they get more than they give. Ivan says:

“Volunteering is not just a one-way track. You give something back to the community and you make a difference for the people. But you also learn something new. It can be learning soft skills, meeting new people, learning about other cultures.”

Jessica continues:

“We plant a little seed and we get a flower. It doesn’t take a lot of us to host a workshop and share our knowledge, but I can see from the reactions we get from the students that it
makes a huge difference to them. It’s an amazing feeling and I would recommend everyone to volunteer.”

And the four volunteers are not alone with that experience. In fact, studies show that corporate volunteering has a positive impact on the employee engagement, pride and on the team spirit. Because of Sara, Ivan, Toni and Jessica’s good work and positive experiences, Visma e-conomic has decided to launch a corporate volunteering program for all employees in 2022 – #VolunteerwithVisma.

We are all capable of having a positive impact in the world

For the four volunteers, it is a huge employee benefit to be able to volunteer during working hours. And it motivates them to work for a company that gives the employees a purpose beyond the daily work. It is also easier to fit into the schedule and it gives an opportunity to volunteer with your colleagues and get a new perspective on team building. Sara says:

“You can’t save the world, but that shouldn’t keep us from trying. We can always make a difference and there are people in Denmark that could use our help. At the same time, volunteering is a good opportunity to pick up practical and professional skills and to learn more about local and global issues. I am really looking forward to #VolunteerwithVisma and to the opportunity of volunteering together with my colleagues.”

Ivan and Toni would also recommend volunteering to others. They point to the culture change a company gets from being more open towards the society. For both of them, volunteering is a valuable experience.
Jessica agrees: “You can very easily get stuck in your own hamster wheel, focusing on your own job, career and family, forgetting how it was to get your first job. Volunteering opens up your perspective and I believe that Visma e-conomic is so big and successful that it is our responsibility to give back. There are still people left outside of society. We can make a difference for them and therefore we should. I really look forward to seeing the fruits of all our super talented coworkers getting out in the world and being the change it needs.”

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