How Workplaces Are Stepping up for Refugees

 How Workplaces Are Stepping up for Refugees

Best Workplaces Employee Experience

As some grow hostile, big-hearted companies (and their people) are opening doors

While governments are turning their backs on refugees, we are seeing more and more companies on the PEOPLE 2019 Companies that Care® list stepping in to help. These workplaces have made caring about all people part of their company culture. 

Social impact abroad
Adobe started their Create Change program so that employees could be empowered to make a difference in their communities. Rufus Deuchler, Principal Manager of Creative Cloud Evangelism, at Adobe felt compelled to help with the refugee crisis that he had been following in the news.

Through Create Change, Rufus was able to connect with Northern Greece Volunteers. Within 48 hours Rufus had booked his trip to volunteer for two weeks in Greece.

Rufus rushed hot meals to refugees, shuttled other volunteers to and from camps and cleaned tents in the Vasilika Refugee Camp. And every 10 hours he volunteered translated to a $250 volunteer grant from Adobe for Rufus to donate to an organization of his choice.

“I left Greece enriched and energized. I made friends I will never forget. And I now have a better understanding of what really happens—the refugees are truly ‘in between lives’ and they spend their time waiting to see what will happen next. I already plan to try and remain active and involved. Had I stayed a week longer, my heart would probably have told me to just stay.”

A road less bumpy
Employee recognition company O.C. Tanner is helping newly settled refugees through the “One Refugee (1R)” initiative.

1R is a Utah-based non-profit which helps refugees prosper through higher education, social integration, well-being, and financial independence. An employee at O.C. Tanner works full time on 1R, matching refugees with potential employers.

Refugee students can also get their first taste of work life through O.C. Tanner’s internship program. Each department has an intern position reserved for students from the 1R. Currently, O.C. Tanner has 6 students interning in teams from marketing to software engineering.

Hands-on help
More than 350 employees are trained to support Cisco’s Tactical Operations (TacOps) team during humanitarian crises. With the ability to deploy within 72 hours, Cisco’s TacOps team quickly responds by establishing emergency communications for government and humanitarian organizations so they can coordinate relief efforts.

TacOps has responded to over 39 disasters on six continents and has connected more than 600,000 people during acute crises. Most recently, their TacOps team responded to the refugee crisis in Europe and North Uganda, Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and the Blue Cut Fire in California.

Skills for free
Perkins Coie, LLP has more than 1,000 lawyers in 16 offices across the world. One of the company’s greatest achievements is helping immigrants, pro bono, obtain asylum and other forms of immigration relief.

Their clients’ journeys to the United States are often marred by years of extreme hardship, physical risks, and emotional turmoil. A steady stream of new arrivals have gained security through immigration relief from Perkins Coie lawyers.

Migrants make the world more prosperous. And employees who feel good about how their organizations contribute to the community are twice as likely to plan to work there for a long time. Learn about all of the workplaces who made our list of Companies that Care here. 


Claire Hastwell