Earlier this month my team organized an employee volunteer event in collaboration with the non-profit organization, The New York/ New Jersey Trail Conference. We had a group of 25 enthusiastic and energetic Konica Minolta volunteers working to build and maintain hiking trails alongside a naturally occurring waterfall at the Ramapo Valley County Reservation in Mahwah, NJ. The team had a mission, to break and reposition rocks along the rugged forest floor in order to create safer hiking trails so members of our community are able to walk their dogs and hike while enjoying the natural beauty of northern New Jersey.
Over the sound of hammers, I could hear the team chatting and getting to know each other. The group was comprised of volunteers from at least five different departments, some even traveling from other offices to participate. Before the event, most of the volunteers were strangers, but by mid-morning, they were discussing hobbies, summer vacation plans and family life. Eventually, the conversation turned to work and they shared their department’s duties and responsibilities. Some of the team members were able to answer longstanding questions from other employee volunteers and were even able to provide some insight that will help them do their job more efficiently in the future.
This is a perfect example of the positive impact of employee volunteerism and corporate citizenship. On the surface, the team donated their time and efforts to supporting the community, but the benefits were actually three-fold. Contributing to a good cause provided employees with a sense of fulfilment and community. The time spent away from the routine and busy schedules that come along with a normal day at the office, allowed the team think “outside of the box” and open routes for enhanced collaboration, interdepartmental teamwork and innovation.
Whether in the form of employee volunteerism, corporate philanthropic donation, or the development of products and solutions that solve social challenges, making our world a better place is important at Konica Minolta. We see this concept take shape every day through business activities guided by our management philosophy, “The Creation of New Value.” Being a good corporate citizen is valued by customers and communities, but it is also important to employees. A recent study from Deloitte found that 76% of Millennials regard business as a force for positive social impact, emphasizing the importance of employee volunteerism and community participation initiatives to employee satisfaction and retention in today’s workplace.
Konica Minolta is making a difference on a global scale through company-wide efforts such as Eco Vision 2050 and the development of Green Products. There are also efforts being carried out nationally and locally that contribute to specific employee and community needs. In the past two years we have expanded our efforts to engage employees in giving and volunteerism. In Fiscal Year 2017, we introduced our Matching Contributions Program. Through this program, employees can have their charitable donation matched up to $1,000 each year. In the past year, we’ve donated over $60,000 to causes important to our employees. We’ve also continued to introduce more opportunities for employees to give back through volunteer events and giving initiatives focusing on environmental sustainability, health & wellness and next-generation education.
It’s clear that a company that cares is a company that succeeds. That’s why Konica Minolta has been able to continuously evolve and transform to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers, employees and society. As stated in Konica Minolta’s global philosophy, “We are a company with over 44,000 members around the world. With such strength, comes great responsibility. As a company, Konica Minolta is committed to a single purpose, both for the benefit of our customers and for society at large.”