Montreal tech consulting firm gives back to community

'We encourage employees to choose organizations that they really want to support'

Montreal tech consulting firm gives back to community

The annual GivingTuesday event is happening on Nov. 29 this year. The global initiative began in 2012 in New York, with the goal to provide “a day that encourages people to do good.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Montreal IT consultancy Big Bang which encourages its global workforce to volunteer in their communities through a paid “day of volunteering” program. The company offers eight hours of paid volunteer hours per year for employees to dole out to deserving causes, which results in about 1,250 hours each year.  

“We were doing already some corporate initiatives — pro-bono projects for non-profits or other underserved populations — but this was an opportunity for us to involve our staff, our employees because, at the end of the day, we’re a consulting company so what we sell is time, expertise [and] we wanted to give back in that way,” says Anna Romanowski, corporate development manager at Big Bang.


Anna Romanowski

Groups from more than 80 countries participate in the yearly GivingTuesday effort, according to the organization’s website.

Big Bang encourages its workers to donate volunteer hours to various causes in which it believes, such as poverty alleviation and food security, health, environment, human rights, youth physical wellness, and youth mentorship are, says Romanowski. 

‘Causes that inspire’ 

While the initiative began at the corporate level, Big Bang wants to encourage its 160 employees to “find causes that inspire them,” says Romanowski. 

“We had 14 causes, organizations already pre-selected, but we also encouraged employees to choose organizations that they really want to support, so more and more teams or informal friends at the office are going to support organizations of their choosing.”  

“The goal is to get our employees out of their day-to-day in front of the computer and get them into the community to see a different reality that maybe they were lucky not to experience,” she says.  

For the firm’s workers who participate, the response has been encouraging, says Romanowski. 

“Everyone comes back from volunteering in a kitchen or with youth, and they feel very grateful. That’s our theme for this year, the gratitude that we were able to overcome COVID and keep our growth. On the personal level, employees experience that as well; they’re exposed to a reality that’s different from theirs, and it brings them back and makes them grateful that they can work from home, have a very comfortable life.” 

Recently, banking giant Scotiabank said it is making it easier for employees to give back to causes they support via a new tech tool.  

Culture in spotlight 

The charity efforts also allow Big Bang to shine a positive light on its own culture, which is what many young job candidates are looking for today, according to Romanowski. 

“The message is that we are putting our money and our time where our mouth is, and not just donating but involving the time of our employees and their efforts to help the community at large.” 

By doing so, this can provide benefits to both the organization and the community, says Romanowski. 

“I think that’s something that feeds back into our company many years down the line, but it’s our hope to invest in the community at large for that long-term effect.” 

People are now looking more at CEOs and business leaders to help support corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.  

Year-round giving 

These efforts are also replicated year-round to about “four or five” organizations in Montreal in which pro bono work is offered for NGOs and underserved organizations by giving them technological expertise, says Romanowski. 

“We give them a bank of hours, so that they can rely on our expertise and that helps them continue to do good work with the same resources that they have: it allows them to do more.”  

 

Recent articles & video

Some IT workers exempt from Ottawa’s return-to-office mandate

The art of appreciation: Why saying ‘thank you’ is integral to your culture

Chipotle's plans to hire 15,000 new workers across North America

City of Calgary bringing workers back to the office

Most Read Articles

HR leaders among 20 'best jobs' in Canada for 2023

Younger workers coping less well with stressors at work: survey

Are CRA workers asking for too much of a pay bump?