We interviewed Ericsson’s HR Director, Roger Peacock, who told us about their collaboration with whatCharity and what they are looking for in future charity partners and skill-based volunteering opportunities. 

Technology giants Ericsson are partnering with whatCharity to deliver some amazing opportunities for charities in Berkshire

Criteria and application form for charitiesDeadline 8th December 2019

1) Tell us a bit about Ericsson as a global company and how it operates in the UK 

Ericsson is a world-leading provider of telecommunications equipment and services to mobile and fixed network operators. Over 1,000 networks in more than 180 countries use Ericsson equipment and more than 40 percent of the world’s mobile traffic passes through Ericsson networks. At Ericsson, we apply our innovation to market-based solutions that empower people and society to help shape a more sustainable world. We are truly a global company, working across borders in 175 countries, offering a diverse, performance driven culture and an innovative and engaging environment where employees enhance their potential every day, now including the design and implementation of 5G networks worldwide. 

2) You have a generous volunteering programme in place for your staff (one days paid volunteering per person), why has Ericsson decided to prioritise volunteering?

As a company, we want to formalise our volunteering activities and promote them across the organisation. As a large employer we want to give back our time, skills and experience to worthy causes, especially for us in the Reading area.  We provide our employees up to 1 day per year of paid time out for their charity-based activities and in addition staff often give many more hours of their own time. During 2020 we’d like to encourage more staff to take part and create stronger links with charities that may benefit from our staff’s time & skills by making it easy for both parties to engage.  It is also a great way to engage our workforce and we believe it promotes excellent personal development for those that take part.  

(whatCharity agrees it is important for companies to support their employees in volunteering efforts. Read more here). whatCharity is an advocate for company volunteering,

3) What kind of charities are you looking to support through your ‘Our Year of Volunteering 2020’ campaign?

Ericsson is very open to the kind of charities we will look to support and can vary these from year to year.  Our ideal situation to start with, is to work with Reading based charities to allow them to benefit from the large number of our employees who travel and work in Reading. We aim to create a compelling 2020 campaign to really excite and motivate our employees to take part and make a real impact for the charities they will support. 

4) What kind of skills do your employees possess? What kind of tasks could be of interest to them?

Our staff have a wide spectrum of skills including IT engineering, programme & project management, complex delivery, data analysis, marketing, communications, finance, HR and IT.  All have strong communication, numeracy and IT skills and many have significant leadership experience that can be shared. Staff can spend up to 8 hours of Ericsson time and as much of their personal time as they wish, tasks can be big or small, individual or group based. 

4) What is the practical criteria charities must meet in order to be eligible?

The Health and safety of our staff is very important to us and we would wish to ensure that any Ericsson employee who volunteers can be assured a safe place to operate from and we may require a risk assessment to be carried out by our H&S representative.  As a minimum we would also expect any charity we work with to have Public Liability Insurance. 

(Read more about charity insurance here.)

5) How will Ericsson promote the ‘Our Year of Volunteering 2020’ campaign and how will charities receive good publicity from taking part? 

We will be launching an end to end employee communications and campaign in early in 2020. We’ll be promoting the work whatCharity do via blogs, their intranet site, examples of what other companies have done, and promoting the benefits of volunteering.  We’ll also invite 2-4 charities to come into our Reading office and talk to staff direct really allowing them to promote their charity and the help they require. We want this to be a really positive engagement for our staff, their chance to give back to worthwhile causes, gain personally from the experience and hopefully have some fun!