Living Our Core Values and Connecting with the Community
TEAM employees continue to give back through the Volunteer Time Off program.
We know how important community involvement is to our employees. That’s why we have a Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program. Now in its second year, TEAM’s VTO program continues to gain momentum. The program gives employees up to four days per year to volunteer on behalf of TEAM with partner organizations like the TeamMates Mentoring Program or other nonprofit organizations. To date in 2019, TEAM employees have supported 14 organizations through 368 volunteer hours.
In addition to employees individually volunteering with the organizations of their choice, TEAM introduced group VTO outings in 2019 to make it even easier for employees to take advantage of the program. Once a quarter, there’s a group VTO outing to give back to the community and connect with other TEAM employees.
“I think the VTO program is fantastic for so many reasons. I’ve attended two of the group events so far, and my favorite part is the team building element,” said Katie Truhlsen, Client Services Manager at TEAM. “You get to volunteer with other members of the company you may never work with, so it’s a great opportunity to get to know my fellow TEAM employees.”
The first group VTO outing of 2019 involved packing food for families in need at the Food Bank for the Heartland. Twenty-three TEAM employees spent the afternoon packing 330 pounds of bacon and 4,620 pounds of pasta.
“We’ve picked some great organizations that really know how to use our numbers effectively,” said Carissa Gappa, one of TEAM’s Product Managers. “When we’re all working toward a shared goal, you can physically see our impact — the towers of food we’ve boxed, the walls we’ve built and the landscapes we’ve cleaned up. Plus, there’s really no excuse not to participate when someone else is handling the logistics and all I have to do is record my VTO time and show up!”
While there are also several employees who’ve participated in the VTO program individually, the group outings have been a resounding success with a total of 49 employees participating in one of the three group events so far in 2019.
“I hadn’t done much volunteering in the past couple decades, but with TEAM’s encouragement, I have since found a joy and satisfaction that can only be achieved by serving the community,” said Tim Corcoran, a Data Analyst at TEAM.
For some TEAM employees, the VTO program gives them a chance to support organizations they have a special connection with. Mike Straub, VP – Solutions Advisor, used the VTO program as he prepared for a fundraising road trip with his son to raise awareness (and money) for the Autism Action Partnership.
“I love the flexibility of our VTO program,” said Mike. “This summer, my son and I drove to all 48 states as a fundraiser for autism. I used the VTO program before the trip to meet with the press and various sponsors who helped get the word out about the fundraiser. Because of those efforts, we raised over $22,000 for autism.”
The flexibility of the program works well for Ron Smith, TEAM’s Business Intelligence Analyst, who combines several days together for one larger event, his annual church youth group mission trip.
“I really appreciate that TEAM allows for VTO,” said Ron. “The program shows me that TEAM cares about us as individuals and the community.”
We also had 11 employees participate in a group VTO that hit close to our (work) home. In partnership with Keep Omaha Beautiful, the group spent four hours on a hot summer afternoon picking up trash and beautifying the neighborhood surrounding our Omaha office.
“TEAM recognizes the importance of social responsibility not only from an employee perspective, but also as an organization,” said Jessica Rudol, HR Manager. “The intention of the VTO program is to create community engagement opportunities for employees that are meaningful, purposeful and help those in need. At the same time, TEAM recognizes that participating in these activities will also enrich and inspire the lives of our employees. The program promotes employee engagement by increasing collaboration, empathy, adaptability and leadership, all while bringing brand awareness to the communities in which we serve.”
Most recently, 15 individuals from across departments volunteered at two build sites with Habitat for Humanity. One group worked on an existing house, helping to clear the lot and rebuild the front porch while the second group worked alongside the future recipient of a new Habitat for Humanity house.
“I love that we can take some time away from our normal day at work and help out the community we live in,” said Software Development Manager Dan Kerkman. “I enjoy working with my hands and being able to build something tangible, so getting to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity was great.”
No matter where they choose to use their VTO hours, everyone who’s participated in the program agrees it’s one of the things that help sets TEAM apart.
“It’s not always easy to find time during the evenings or on the weekends to volunteer,” said Kate Gerber, Marketing and Communications Specialist. “With TEAM’s VTO program, I’m able to be involved in the community and volunteer with organizations that are meaningful to me, all while knowing TEAM is 100 percent in support of it. And that’s a pretty great feeling.”