NBCUniversal’s HR for GOOD Merges Pro Bono Work and Professional Development
"Work and live to serve others, to leave the world a little better than you found it and garner for yourself as much peace of mind as you can. This is happiness." The quote by NBC’s founder David Sarnoff is featured in a book of inspirational phrases that NBCUniversal gives to each participant in its HR for GOOD program. The program was conceived by Pat Langer, Executive Vice President of HR for NBCUniversal. As an attorney, Langer was very familiar with pro bono work, but she hadn’t thought about applying the concept as an HR professional until a happenstance meeting on a plane. The woman seated next to Langer volunteered for the Taproot Foundation, an organization dedicated to driving social change by connecting nonprofits with passionate, skilled professionals who provide their services pro bono. Through Taproot’s programs, business professionals deliver marketing, strategy, HR, tech and other solutions that organizations need to help power their productivity and better achieve their missions.
After learning about Taproot, Langer got involved. First, she leveraged her human resources expertise on a six-month long pro bono project and then in a pro bono “speed consulting” event. Hooked, she joined Taproot’s board of directors and partnered with Taproot to bring pro bono to NBCUniversal. Together NBCUniversal and Taproot designed HR for GOOD, a half-day pro bono consulting event that helps nonprofits troubleshoot strategic HR issues. NBCUniversal has held two HR for GOOD experiences, one in New York City and another in Los Angeles. It has engaged 41 leaders from 27 nonprofits and tapped the HR business expertise of 71 NBCUniversal HR professionals (see photo below). The nonprofit leaders rotated through three 50-minute consultative sessions targeting critical needs including team building and employee relations, performance management, and recruiting, vetting and hiring new staff. Ninety-eight percent of nonprofit participants reported that the results of the event would have a positive impact on their organizations and 100% said that they would participate in another HR for GOOD in the future.