The other day, I was browsing the internet to learn how other companies are staying relevant in an ever-changing economy and business environment. After digging into some research, there were three skills/traits that stood out to me: 1) the importance of technical skills and being able to work in an often challenging ecosystem, 2) the value of being agile and bringing people together from different cultures and generations to advance partnerships and deliver meaningful and sustainable impact, and 3) the ability to think holistically, to embrace complex problems and come up with new innovative ways to solve them.
I couldn’t agree more, and the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Secondment Program does exactly that.
When I started my role at Johnson & Johnson Global Community Impact in 2013, it was a dream of mine to encourage our Company to re-imagine employee engagement and see “employee giving” differently. I envisioned a program that would enable J&J to leverage the skills and experience of its 43,000 employees across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region to support our partners on the front lines of care in a transformative, long-term way. After many internal discussions, enthusiastic pitches, and detailed presentations, I got the green light to pilot the J&J Secondment Program for social impact creation.
Five years later, nearly 50 talented J&J employees have shared their knowledge, expertise and passion with our NGO partners through full-time field assignments of up to six months. Together with my team, I've seen many successes and challenges on this journey. As we look to evolve the program even further to best impact the front lines of health, I’m sharing my five biggest lessons from the first five years of the Secondment Program!