Social Impact Month at Softchoice

This July, we celebrated our third annual Social Impact Month.  

At Softchoice, July serves as a rallying point for every person in the company to generate meaningful impact. With the unprecedented events of this year, it was more important than ever that we looked to better support the communities in which we live and work while building a more giving and compassionate culture.  

Although our employees are working remotely, we found many ways to get involved and support our people and communities virtually.  

What social impact means at Softchoice 

Today, we are living through a global health crisis, an economic emergency and a staggering increase in unemployment that will continue to intensify social and economic inequality 

For many of us at Softchoice, the climate around racial injustice has even further highlighted the need for our organization to further improve diversity and inclusion. We aspire to be a place where anyone can be successful and where everyone feels that they belong.  

At Softchoice, responding to the issues that matter most to our people and communities – what we call “social impact” – is one of the most important ways we bring our values to life.    

Every July, Social Impact Month puts these priorities at the forefront as we encourage every person in the organization to participate in education sessions and volunteering events organized by our Social Impact team, employee-led Softchoice Cares BoardEmployee Resource Groups (ERGs) and a passionate community of ERG and Orange Ambassadors across North America. 

These events are intended to provide opportunities to have an immediate impact. To this end, our Social Impact Month programs are designed around 3 pillars:  

  • Enabling our people to make a difference in their local communities in a way that has meaning to them.  
  • Hosting mentoring and career discovery workshops to help women, newcomers and members of the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities who have been struggling to build careers in technology.  
  • Joining in the fight against inequality through ERG-led panels and education sessions where we learn to acknowledge and respect others’ lived experience, identify non-inclusive behavior and create a shared understanding of inclusion.  

 Social impact during the pandemic   

In the face of health, economic and social crises, it was critical that we continued to support Social Impact Month activities, while social distancing measures made it necessary to pivot from in-person to virtual volunteering.  

This effort wasn’t without challenges, including:  

  • Pivoting from traditional, in-person volunteering to virtual events, while continuing to support people and our community in meaningful, impactful ways 
  • Creating enough virtual events to provide 2,000 employees with opportunities to participate 
  • Identifying the best technologto support different types of events 

We encouraged everyone to participate in a minimum of 4 hours of virtual volunteering or education throughout the month of July. team of employee volunteers created a full calendar of event options for both during and after work hours.  

Some of our Social Impact Month highlights included:  

Virtual volunteering and staying connected 

  • The Caring and Connecting Pen Pal Initiative Program which had volunteers write letters to a person who resides in retirement home or long-term care facility.  
  • Employees and their families wrote messages  and created artwork for the St. Joseph Learning and Innovation Centre, Toronto’s Gratitude Wall to provide inspiration for healthcare workers.    
  • Participation in Missing Map sessions that map the most vulnerable places in the developing world, to assist local and international NGOs and individuals to better respond to crises affecting areas in need. 
  • Employees volunteered with one of our partnered charities, Future Founders, to mentor local high schoolers and their entrepreneur business ideas. 
  • A facilitated 2-part event that had volunteers develop 21st-century learning content for marginalized people around the world for Rumie, a technology non-profit making life-changing learning possible for people worldwide.  
  • Employees and their families came together to decorate 150+ lunch sacks for Kids Food Basket, who provide nourishing meals to children living at or near the poverty level.   
  • Held a call-down session to thank more than 500+ donors to Childhood Cancer Canada. 
  • Employees from across North America shared their talents during our virtual talent show to raise funds for some of our amazing charity partners. 

 Mentoring and career discovery 

  • More than 80 employees volunteered for our Mentoring & Career Discovery event series to improve employment outcomes for people in historically disadvantaged groups. We worked with almost 200 job seekers through virtual events in partnership with NPower Canada, ACCES Employment and Skills for Change.   

Joining the fight against inequality 

  • The 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Program focused on mobilizing our ally community to complete one action every day to further their understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression and equity. To support this program, our ERGs curated a list of readings, podcasts, videos, observations and ways to form and deepen community connections. Weekly check-ins allowed program participants to ask questions, discuss key themes and develop plans of action. 
  • Hundreds of employees were involved in discussion panels hosted by our ERGs that addressed the unique challenges  the transgender community faces on a daily basis, accessibility gaps in employee experience, the ways racism manifests itself in the IT industry and how women can manage their careerduring COVID-19.  

 How you can have an impact 

Interested in joining a community of professionals making an impact every single day?  

Visit our Careers page to find exciting career opportunities across North America at Softchoice.  

Softchoice’s Commitment to Customer Experience Awarded by Canadian Marketing Association

This past Friday, Softchoice had the privilege of winning an award for our focus on customer experience (CX) at the Canadian Marketing Association Awards Gala 2019. It was easily one of my most memorable career highlights, seeing Softchoice standing shoulder to shoulder with a number of well-known and respected brands.

The recognition was a great way to cap off a little more than two years of significant focus, building our voice of customer programs and turning feedback into programs and projects that close the gap between our customers’ experience and expectation.

This year we also celebrated Softchoice’s 30th birthday and with that, we celebrate thirty years of customer passion and building a business focused on helping our customers think differently about technology.

Thirty years ago, we set ourselves apart by collecting and cataloguing information about software so customers could help make better decisions. No one else was doing that at the time. Back then, we built our systems and tools focused on delivering value to the customer and polled customers about their experience with Softchoice. We had created the beginnings of a CX practice before we knew there was a term for it. It is part of our DNA.

But times change. Today, Google makes finding information faster and easier than it’s ever been, and our customers’ B2C experience is driving their B2B expectations. Those things that had once set us apart, are now considered table stakes.

Today’s technology customer is looking for something different. In an era where web portals, chatbots and call trees dominate, they want a partner who is accessible across channels, devices and time as well as understands their business and needs. They want a partner that is more human. In a time where their search engine provides them with endless technology options or cases studies on how everyone else has done it, they want a partner who inspires them to think differently about technology. Being that Human and Inspiring partner is the path that we are on.

“Customer experience in today’s world is imperative but ensuring the consistent improvement of customer experience is an ongoing journey and we are excited to partner with Softchoice, an organization built on customer passion, on this journey,” said Morana Bakula, Vice President, Experience Management, Bond Brand Loyalty.

“This award is recognition of our work together to consistently deliver on customer experience aligned to changing customer needs.”

As proud as we are of the recognition we’ve recently received and the work we’ve done over the last few years, we’re even more excited about what’s ahead… creating experiences, with our customers, partners and people, that are inseparable from the solutions and services we deliver.

John Dumo is Vice President, Customer Experience at Softchoice

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While all of these examples are benefits of working at Softchoice, a huge part of our award-winning corporate culture is our employee recognition programs. One of our biggest, Softchoice President’s Club, rewards the company’s best of the best every year with a week-long trip to an exciting destination. [Read more…]

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Women currently account for just 26% of all tech jobs in the US, which makes recruiting more women into technology a hot topic for many organizations in the industry. With more and more women leaving the industry, as opposed to joining it, how can tech companies attract and retain female employees? Answering this question is not easy, but a lot of organizations are trying hard to solve it. [Read more…]

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3 Ways Social Media Is A Game-Changer For Your Corporate Culture

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While the debate on restricting personal use of Twitter and Facebook during office hours continues, a lot of organizations are missing the conversation on internal social media. Tools such as Yammer, Digsby, and sites created by your company in-house have the potential to positively impact your corporate culture and raise the bar on your business output.

Based on our own experience at Softchoice, here are three ways internal social media could be a game-changer for your business: [Read more…]