Giving Back by Giving Time in India and Singapore

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The Love On Platform was launched in August 2021 worldwide, with the intention of creating an employee experience for employee volunteering. Through this platform, employees not only can register for volunteering, but also may track their hours in lieu with the volunteering policy and donate their rewards to charity.  As part of the Love On Purpose Program, for every hour that employees volunteer, they receive $5 USD as Volunteer Rewards to donate to a charity of choice.

Since the launch of the program in August 2021, the Program has hosted over 5700+ active users, with 2000+ employees opting to donate time and resources with a global matching of US$254,609 from Lenovo Foundation.

Today we spoke to two Lenovo employees based in Asia Pacific on their experiences using the Love On Platform and their motivation to support causes close to them.

The Love On Platform was launched in August 2021 worldwide, with the intention of creating an employee experience for employee volunteering. Through this platform, employees not only can register for volunteering, but also may track their hours in lieu with the volunteering policy and donate their rewards to charity.  As part of the Love On Purpose Program, for every hour that employees volunteer, they receive $5 USD as Volunteer Rewards to donate to a charity of choice.

Since the launch of the program in August 2021, the Program has hosted over 5700+ active users, with 2000+ employees opting to donate time and resources with a global matching of US$254,609 from Lenovo Foundation.

Today we spoke to two Lenovo employees based in Asia Pacific on their experiences using the Love On Platform and their motivation to support causes close to them.

Sujai Kumar sitting at a desk creating mandala artWe met with D. L. Sujai Kumar, AP Head of Services, who was one of the first to log into the Love On Platform. Sujai has worked with  Lenovo for the last 13 years. He began as part of India Service Operations before moving on to an AP Service Operations role with nine members in KL, Dalian, Tokyo and India. For the past three to four years, he has set time aside to volunteer regularly at activities such as the tree plantation activity and the road safety exercise. Both outings were held as part of Lenovo’s 35th birthday celebrations, immediately before all activities went virtual.

Sujai’s motivation for volunteering was always to give back to the community, but he also found it beneficial to his mental wellbeing. He says, “We are so busy five days a week, 20 days a month. There is nothing to divert our attention. When we do such external activities – see new things – it gives us a good feeling of having contributed something to the community.” He recollects one activity where they were providing coaching to students during the COVID-19 second wave. The session enabled him to do something for someone else, even during those difficult times.

Sujai admits he was one of the first employees to access the Love On Platform when it was launched in August this year. He loved signing up for volunteering activities but found he had to  look out for the mailers that announced the volunteering opportunities, register them separately on one platform and track the volunteering hours on a different platform. At times due to business pressures, he missed tracking his volunteering hours. Further, while he encouraged his teammates to participate in volunteering, he was not sure if they had volunteered as they were spread out in different countries and locations.

The Love On Platform smoothed over those issues for Sujai. For him it was a “one-stop shop”  –he could see all the volunteering activities line up not only in India but also in other countries.  From the dashboard, he could see the number of hours he contributed to volunteering. The incentivizing of the volunteer hours was the cherry on top – an added push to do more. This was the kind of innovation he was looking forward to from Lenovo Foundation for an employee volunteering experience.

Sujai has over the last 3 months tracked 12.5 volunteering hours, against which he raised several volunteering rewards. Using the Love On Platform, he identified an organization that supported children and had a pan-India presence. He chose to donate to ISKON, in addition to donating his own funds to two additional charities.

When he realized he could nominate charities for the Love On Platform that would receive funding and matching from Lenovo Foundation, he suggested additional charities for the list. He is proud that Lenovo also supports matching donations of employees for charities doing great social service. Now that he is comfortable with the Love On Platform, he says he will explore the option of recurring donations as soon as the charities he nominated are onboarded. He is also considering donating to the Lenovo Meghshala Teacher Enablement Program or the Lenovo Agastya STEM Education Program. He plans on holding volunteering opportunities for the AP Services Operations Team in the next fiscal year. For Giving Tuesday, he aims to log on to the Love On Platform and try his luck to see if he can get an extra dollar to donate to charity.

Shirley Bay, HR Ops Specialist, Lenovo Singapore is also part of the CSR site committee. Over the last two years, she has been the Love On Global Month of Service project leader, designing and leading volunteering activities for employees. We met with Shirley to find out what motivates her about volunteering and how she encourages others to participate.

Shirley Bay with GMOS volunteerShirley Bay has been with Lenovo for 7 years. She got her start working with the facilities team and has served as an HR Operations Specialist over the last 3 years. In her HR role, she has enjoyed the opportunity to interact with a lot of people and grow into her role. In addition to her day job, Shirley has also been a project leader for Love On Global Month of Service for the last two years, where she has proved instrumental in designing volunteering opportunities for employees in Singapore to participate in the annual 30-day community initiative Love On Global Month of Service.

Initially, Shirley was worried about the role, but with guidance and recommendations from Ronnie Lee, CGM, Singapore, she signed up for it and has excelled since then.

Shirley is very happy with the Love On Purpose platform which consolidates all her efforts as a project lead on the global month of service.

As a project lead, Shirley appreciates the consolidation the new platform has been able to accomplish. In the past, she needed to work much harder to keep track of the registrations. Now, the Love On Purpose platform provides a single place to share communication, register and have a record of all the registrations to follow up on logistics.

Perhaps the platform’s biggest benefit is that it allows individuals to sign up for activities across other AP countries. This motivates colleagues to engage their passions and support the entire region. The platform is a single point for information and for employees to select activities, choose to donate to a charity or suggest a charity to work with in future.

Shirley recently concluded a book donation drive for Filos Community Services and tracked 3 hours of volunteering for this activity.  She was pleasantly surprised that she had volunteer rewards for her efforts in lieu of the tracking. Now she is motivated to do more, because contributions do not just come from her pocket – Lenovo is supporting her causes too. She plans to use her volunteering rewards to donate to a charity that supports the reading habits of children form needy families. She will start by looking up the causes on the Love On Platform and is planning to log on to the platform this Giving Tuesday to do the same.

Shirley is also planning a Giving Tuesday activity with her colleagues through which they are donating Star Wars VR glasses and Star Wars Lego sets to students from Filo Community Services who have done well in their studies, providing them motivation and recognition.

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