Responsible Business Initiatives and Achievements
Olenick believes in the power of being a socially responsible business.
Over the past 20+ years Olenick has supported a variety of initiatives that provide opportunities for the business and employees to give back to communities where they work and live.
What does being a responsible business mean?
For us it’s not just about operational cost savings, improving brand recognition in a competitive marketplace, and benefiting the environment. At Olenick, it’s about empowering employees to leverage our resources to do good, which in turn increases employee engagement and boosts morale leading to greater productivity.
How have we done that?
In Belfast, we have created a month-by-month plan of activities that addressed our key CSR goals: employee engagement, diversity and inclusion including volunteering in the community, environmental management and responsible sourcing.
In 2019 we brought a more structured approach to our diversity and inclusion activities by creating an employee led committee responsible for coordinating Olenick visits and events. The OVE team created an event calendar and nominated a lead for each event who in turn was responsible for bringing a team together to deliver the event. Activities ranged from ‘Bring Your Dog to Work Day’ to raise funds for Guidedogs for the Blind, bringing women from client and supplier companies together for International Women’s Day, celebrating Holi and Diwali, and Valentine’s Day.
The best way to demonstrate what we’ve achieved so far is with some statistics from 2019/2020.
We ran 2 Global Health and Wellbeing Campaigns which included mental health training for line managers, and a physical activity “step challenge” starting from our Belfast office and stepping our way to our offices in Chicago then Buenos Aires before returning to Belfast. This was an excellent tool to promote, encourage, and monitor engagement – and helped us stay connected through the later part of 2020, into 2021. An impressive 39,172,831.92 steps have been reached as of 27th January 2021 which has taken 260 days – and we are now on the home stretch!
We hired 3 Graduates who went on to experience our Talent Academy and inspired young people with their stories about working in our industry through webinars and information sessions.
We supported 5 Charities each individually chosen by staff vote, through fundraising events and donations. These opportunities increased morale and highlighted how well our staff work as a team, both within a project environment and beyond.
We delivered 16 Client Webinars to over 500 People covering topics such as Addressing the Growing Need for Digital Accessibility, Staying Connected – Mobile Apps & The New Normal, Moving an Application to the Cloud, and numerous sector specific Olenick moderated roundtables that offer our clients an opportunity to discuss common challenges and explore solutions.
We hosted 17 Diversity and Inclusion Events, including Chinese Burns: a unique event bringing together elements from Chinese New Years and Burns Night, and International Star Wars Day celebrating our mentoring programme, OB1. As in Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi serves as a mentor to Luke Skywalker, our unique programme sees senior members of staff assume the role of OB1 for new employees, or Skywalkers, to ensure their integration into life as an Olenick consultant is supportive and inclusive. Diversity celebrations such as Holi are a wonderful way to learn more about our colleagues’ cultures.
We completed 30 Volunteer Hours most notably with Mission Christmas Cash for Kids, the biggest local fundraising and gift appeal. Everyone in the office made very generous donations that were then delivered to Cash for Kids HQ where a team of Olenick volunteers worked hard to sort the toys and get them ready for distribution.
We completed 857.5 hours of Professional Development Training investing in our staff and supporting their development to help them achieve their professional goals.
Finally, we signed the Climate Action Pledge, committing to a 30/50% reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, started recycling our food waste, donating surplus equipment to charity, recycling old marketing materials through the supplier, and procuring local suppliers as much as possible.
We also partnered with Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke to look at how we can further support employees physical and mental wellbeing. Our new 2021 wellbeing campaign, ‘R U OK?’, will provide employees from all our global locations with resources to improve their mental, emotional and physical health as well as getting connected.
Our people are at the centre of everything we do, and we work with several organisations to deliver education programmes providing opportunities for both young people and career changers. In December we hosted our first Work Inspiration presentation for 16 to 18 year olds interested in a career in IT. Quality assurance and software testing is often overshadowed by software development yet one can’t exist without the other. Guests had the opportunity to learn about the industry, routes of entry, career opportunities and the real-life journeys experienced by our graduates.
Being a member of Business in the Community NI has helped us focus on our people, our environment and our community in a new way, and following our achievement of being recognised as a Responsible Business Champion in the 2020 Responsible Business Awards in Northern Ireland One to Watch Category, we’re off to a great start in 2021!