Microsoft`s Corporate Volunteering Program MySkills4Afrika: Fostering Engagement between Employees, Partners and Customers
Case Code: CLHR093
Case Length: 6 Pages
Pub Date: 2022
Teaching Note: Available
Organization: Microsoft Corp
Industry: Technology & Communications
Themes: Stakeholder Management, Stress & Motivation, Employee Development, Organizational Culture
The case ‘Microsoft’s Corporate Volunteering Program MySkills4Afrika: Fostering Engagement between Employees, Partners and Customers’ describes Microsoft’s flagship corporate volunteer (CV) program known as MySkills4Afrika. Microsoft believed that volunteerism could be used not only as a means to improve employee experience and engagement internally but also to create a positive impact for external stakeholders including vendors and potential customers, leading to an improvement in the business climate in Africa and at the same time improving the corporate image. As such, MySkills4Afrika was a core HR initiative and part of the company’s core business operations. Microsoft’s employees from across the world volunteered through this program to donate their time, talent, and expertise to help build a successful and dynamic future for Africa.
The case discusses the core objectives that Microsoft aimed to achieve through the MySkills4Afrika program. Microsoft observed that despite the ample availability of entrepreneurial talent in Africa, start-ups, partners, and small and medium businesses with huge potential were struggling to get the right kind of workers and infrastructure. It therefore decided to introduce a corporate volunteer program aimed at filling this gap by training recent graduates and employees in the African region who were part of Microsoft’s partner network.
Its other objectives were, among other things, to promote global leadership and skills development among Microsoft employees around the world and to promote a better understanding of the African markets throughout the company.
Next, the case describes in detail the implementation of the MySkills4Afrika program. The company put in place a systematic decentralized operations plan where local teams worked with local organizations. This ensured that the program could scale up and gain the support of employees as well as line managers across the company. The implementation included calling for partnerships with governments, private organizations, individual start-ups; pre-screening and selecting skills-based volunteers across the company; coordinating with the HR and Line managers and internal communications; and project tracking.
The case finally describes the positive impact that the MySkills4Afrika program had on employees who volunteered, on the partnering organizations, and on Microsoft itself. The case ends with Microsoft’s ambition to scale up the program and also include new projects that could change the lives of many more people.
- Learn about the need for corporate voluntary (CV) programs in addition to corporate social responsibility initiatives in large organizations.
- Examine the process of implementing CV programs.
- Understand how CV programs contribute to employee motivations and engagement.
- Explore the benefits of CV programs.
American multinational technology corporation Microsoft launched a year-round internship program in Africa known as MySkills4Afrika. It was launched in February 2013 and designed in line with the company’s heritage of giving back to the communities in the markets it operated. MySkills4Afrika was a volunteer program and involved Microsoft’s employees from across the world. Microsoft did not run the program as part of the corporate social responsibility unit Microsoft Philanthropies but of its core business operations as the company believed that volunteerism was also part of the efforts to improve employee experience and engagement and should be a core HR initiative...
Employee Engagement; Employee Attitudes & Emotions; Work Culture; Motivation; Employee Skills Development; Corporate Volunteer Program; Stakeholder Management; Corporate Image;
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