A pillar in the community
Making an impact
It almost goes without saying that doing quality work for our clients while being a great place to work is crucial to how we do business.
But we’re just as committed to helping strengthen our communities in each of the cities where we work and live—it’s part of our DNA. From the numerous employee-led volunteer and fundraising efforts that take place in each of our offices to our even more financially significant pro bono work, our goal as a company is to get people out into the community to support those causes that make the most impact.
This engagement with the larger world is rooted in the local model we helped pioneer back in Slalom’s early days. By creating offices where consultants aren’t required to travel but instead focus on business relationships locally, we're more intimately acquainted with the surrounding community. And because that community is also our own, we understand its specific character and needs.
“I really believe in what we are doing at Slalom. We are offering our people the opportunity to live and work in their own communities, and to go home to their families every night.”
Pillars of engagement
The activities and causes Slalom supports on an ongoing basis are wide and varied. In 2013 alone we coordinated 55 community activities comprising a mix of volunteering and fundraising events across all of our markets. Moving forward, we’ve refined our engagement strategy to optimize our impact, organizing it around three core areas: Slalom Ambassadors, Partners for Good, and Future Leaders.
I. Slalom Ambassadors
This program is our way of supporting the passions and interests of our consultants to be leaders in the community. We want to hire people who share our values, while doing our part to create a culture that enables them to not only get engaged in the community, but do so in ways that help lead and shape it.
Throughout the year we organize many opportunities to get involved with various volunteer and fundraising activities; at the same time we constantly see employees bringing new ideas to the table and making them happen. Examples include our cross-office Movember campaign, employee charity auctions, 2013’s Tour de Cure ride for diabetes, and our nationwide annual food drive—only some of the ways we support the passions of our consultants by enabling them to “give back” through fundraising opportunities.
Beyond participation in events, we want to help our people become more deeply engaged as leaders in the community. This includes encouraging them to join boards of nonprofits, act as mentors and coaches, and be attuned to the issues shaping their cities. We also regularly organize learning opportunities and build connections to civic leadership training, events, and organizations—while never failing to recognize and celebrate the great impact that employees have outside the company.
II. Partners for Good
In the world of community outreach, our pro bono work sets us apart from our peers. In 2013 alone we donated 3,300 hours of services. This affords us a tremendous opportunity to use our business and technology consulting expertise to help nonprofits be more effective and efficient at what they do. By partnering with these organizations through pro bono service rather than simply donating cash, we’re able to have much more of a social impact.
One of the primary ways we do this is through the Philanthropy Fellow Program, a local initiative that pairs a Slalom consultant with a nonprofit in a three-month pro bono engagement. A recent participant was consultant Mary Krogermeier, who worked with Seattle’s StolenYouth in their effort to bring increased awareness and funding to young victims of sexual trafficking. Among other things, Mary helped improve StolenYouth’s internal operations and understand how to better engage with the volunteers and donors in their community. This enabled the organization to more effectively communicate its mission.•
*Since this article was originally published, Mary Krogermeier has left Slalom.
“Partnering with Slalom has provided our grassroots nonprofit organization with a much needed infrastructure. They have helped guide us in a direction that will help ensure sustainability and growth.”
III. Future Leaders
By definition, investing in the community is an investment in the future. Our Future Leaders pillar represents our commitment to empowering youth through education in technology and business—our core competencies.
That commitment extends to partnering with like-minded groups such as Year Up, an organization dedicated to matching up young adults in low-income areas with professional careers. Partnerships like these not only emphasize our desire to give disenfranchised kids an opportunity to establish careers, they allow us to support a cause that’s both relevant and strategically important to our company.
In the coming year we’ll be doing more to support additional organizations whose goal is to educate our youth in innovative ways. By doing so, we’ll help grow the next generation of Slalom consultants while investing in the future of clients who may one day hire us!
The road beyond
Our reach into the communities we serve is growing every day. The recent addition of offices in Houston, Silicon Valley, and London brought our current total locations to 16 with more on the way. Each market represents a new opportunity to prove our allegiance not only to the communities we work in but to the core values of our clients.
According to Corporate Responsibility Lead Adam Barley, formalizing our community engagement program will create more meaningful impact as we continue to grow.
“Across our offices,” he says, “we continue to fill our ranks with people who are passionate about making a difference. It’s exciting to build on this energy and work on ways to inspire and enable our workforce to get involved, and expand the impact we can make collectively.”