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COMPANY OF GOOD

Gearing up youths for the future workplace is this HR firm's CSR

Adecco's management team led the way through active participation and advocating corporate giving

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Adecco's Win4Youth is an initiative that encourages participation among staff as they get to complete sporting challenges, clocking up kilometres and hours doing sporting activities to raise funds for charity. Not only are staff able to feel good working out, they can now do good at the same time.

Singapore

JOB security concerns are top of mind for many people all around the world as the speed of technological change has caused many traditional roles to become extinct.

But even as disruptions continue to take place, HR solutions firm Adecco is doing its part to ensure that the youth of today are prepared for tomorrow's workplace.

"Locally, our focus is on youth development and how the next generation of leaders are being developed," said Philippe Martinez, regional managing director, Asia and country manager, Adecco Personnel (Singapore).

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To address these issues, the firm created two specific initiatives - Win4Youth and Way to Work.

Win4Youth is an initiative that encourages participation among staff as they get to complete sporting challenges, clocking up kilometres and hours doing sporting activities to raise funds for charity. Not only are staff able to feel good working out, they can now do good at the same time.

The group converts every kilometre and minute into donations to support foundations that further youth development causes.

Mr Martinez shared that in 2017, Adecco clocked in 53,491 kilometres through swimming, cycling, and running.

The group's Way to Work initiative is a global one consisting of three programmes designed to tackle youth unemployment issues.

While the youth unemployment rate is a lot less pronounced in Singapore than in other parts of the world such as the US or Spain, the initiative helps young people here to get future-ready.

The first programme is known as Experience Work day, where youth are given the opportunity to shadow an Adecco Group colleague for a day.

"The Adecco Group colleagues mentor and share their expertise with these young people, providing them with a richer view on the possibilities for their future career," explained Mr Martinez.

The second programme is their CEO for One Month internship programme. CEO for One Month gives youth the opportunity to shadow and work alongside Adecco's leadership teams worldwide.

Finally, they have their internship programme, offering thousands of internships both internally and with Adecco's clients throughout the year globally.

Mr Martinez said: "We run our Win4Youth and Way to Work initiatives to provide young people with the experience that they need to be employable. This will help open up a greater number of opportunities for them."

Through these programmes, the company has reached out to young people across Singapore's major universities, polytechnics and other tertiary institutes.

He shared that the company has received "positive feedback" from young people that went though the selection process for CEO for One Month and those who have been part of their Experience Work Day.

"Our participants feel that they have gained invaluable experiences and improved their skills through the activities that they went through," he said.

The initial versions of the CEO for One Month programme and the Experience Work Day first ran in other countries before they were implemented in Singapore.

"These countries experienced high engagement from youths through these programmes and were able to equip them with practical skills and experience that boosted their employability. Globally, there was massive potential to reach out to more young people and create a bigger impact. Thus, the programmes were launched in other countries within the Adecco Group," he said.

Prior to the launch of Experience Work Day in 2017, Adecco had the Street Day programme, where staff shared their expertise and provide workplace tips and tools for tertiary students across Singapore.

One challenge that Adecco encountered was getting staff to actively participate in initiatives.

To combat that, Mr Martinez said that the management team led the way by providing a good example to all colleagues through their active participation and advocating corporate giving.

This has paid off as Adecco has observed a growing number of staff participating in their Win4Youth initiative.

From his experience in HR, he also observed an increasing number of jobseekers looking beyond competitive remuneration packages and development opportunities.

"Other factors such as relating to a company's purpose and whether a company has any activities that address their social responsibility are also being considered by jobseekers when choosing what company to work for," he said.

His advice for companies starting out their CSR activities would be to involve employees with initiating activities that they would be interested in carrying out. This helps to ensure that the activities are long-lasting and likely to be carried out again, he said.

To attract socially-conscious jobseekers, companies could share stories from employees on their participation in these CSR activities and how it creates impact on the community, he suggested.

  • This article is part of a series highlighting inspiring companies that are catalysts of change in corporate giving. The Business Times supports NVPC's Company of Good programme as a media partner. Go to www.companyofgood.sg for more information.
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