Under The Wing

Jeff Rangel

Team Building 2.0

by Jeff Rangel on ‎06-24-2013 08:30 AM - last edited on ‎10-29-2013 09:44 AM by bcm3 (747 Views)

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Brocade takes pride in offering a volunteer-time-off program to make a difference in the community – employees like the benefit; non-profit organizations and K-12 schools like the outcomes. And, transparently, the Company values the business impacts realized when groups volunteer together as a team-building exercise.

Recently, two business groups from the Company's San Jose headquarters volunteered at RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching), an organization with a unique approach to inspiring, engaging and educating children. Executive director, Mary Simon emphasizes that “volunteers are critical to the success of our mission. Through their generous donations of time and energy, RAFT is able to provide affordable hands-on activities to educators and students.” So far this year, more than 100 Brocadians volunteered nearly 300 hours at RAFT.

 

Volunteers sort donated goods that are repurposed and repackaged as ‘hands-on kits’ that stimulate learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The kits tie directly to academic standards. From film containers and foam buttons that make ‘fizzy rockets’ to straws, rubber-bands and clear lids that make ‘roller racers’, groups of volunteers cut, count, sort, bag, label and box hundreds of kits each hour. Jason Nolet, vice president, data center switching and routing said, "It’s incredible to see the way RAFT can turn discarded and donated items from local companies into inexpensive science projects for students. These kits have lasting effects that inspire kids – our future workforce – to enjoy math and science. I like that!"

 

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The teams enjoy the physical activity and appreciate the time with co-workers. Group volunteer projects are fun, rewarding, and an effective way to build healthy team dynamics that lead to improved departmental effectiveness. "Volunteering together gets our teams mixing and collaborating in unique ways that they simply are not able to do in a traditional work setting. New relationships are forged and team dynamics are enriched." says director, global recruitment, Robyn Longfellow.

 

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Together, in just a few short hours, these two teams produced outcomes that will allow RAFT to serve nearly 13,000 students. Moreover, while at RAFT, teams realized benefits that extend beyond the social benefit. According to Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenshipvolunteerism generates tangible business value. Employee engagement gurus Chris Jarvis and Angela Parker of Realized Worth present compelling evidence that companies can realize multiple objectives across their organizations in “The Business Benefits of Corporate Volunteering.”

 

From a team build with Habitat for Humanity, regular events at Second Harvest Food BankHighway clean-ups, the recent outings at RAFT and more, group volunteer projects at Brocade are delivering results on multiple levels.

 

So, when is your next group volunteer activity?