Two years ago, we launched EMC Gives Back, our employee-led community involvement initiative that built upon employees’ legacies of giving back. And what I wrote then about the program is still very much what I believe today: “giving back” isn’t just about writing a check, a one-and-done thing. It’s not just about how many hours you spend volunteering. It’s about developing muscle memory for being part of a solution, and making that mindset part of who you are.
Today, I’m beyond proud of what we’ve accomplished through EMC Gives Back. It’s not just the hundreds of thousands of dollars we’ve raised for non-profits or the many hours our employees have volunteered so far. It’s about the instantiation of the practice into what we do. The impact is nothing short of awesome – bringing EMC teams closer together, bridging cross functional organizations, and being a foundational element in EMC’s standing as a global top 20 Great Place to Work.
EMC Gives Back is truly part of our company fabric. I’ve had the privilege to travel the globe with EMC, and everywhere I go, teams are working to do great things in the spirit of giving. What used to be golf or dinner outings are now about repairing roofs or volunteering at local community centers. EMCers are uncovering more opportunities to contribute in their neighborhoods.
Case in point: I recently participated in an Urban Farming exercise with my family. We spent the day collecting fruit off trees flagged by their owners as surplus produce. In one day, our group picked enough fruit to support 200 people for a week. Two. Hundred. People. With fruit that would have otherwise just fallen off and rotted.
This fall I’ll be working with local Urban Farming leadership to gather EMC resources from across the Bay Area to have even greater impact. There is a 20-acre orchard now owned by a widow without the means to harvest the fruit. We do, and we will. I know the day will be rewarding, really fun and a great team-building activity. I’ll meet new EMCers. We’ll share an experience that will build muscle memory for all participants, and create another set of folks motivated to include the practice into the fabric of who they are. And it will build a better EMC in the process.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” To me, that quote is more than inspiration—it’s motivation. Greatness is as attainable as giving back. Let’s keep going.