Employee volunteering

Our employees devote their time and expertise to create positive change in our communities around the world.

This gives them an opportunity to get to know some of our partner organizations and develop professional skills in challenging environments. In return our partners benefit from strategic planning, operational improvements and enhanced communications. Our two flagship volunteering programs are PULSE and Orange Days.

What is PULSE?

The PULSE Volunteer Partnership is a skills-based volunteering initiative. Through PULSE, motivated employees are matched to a nonprofit organization for three or six months full-time, contributing their skills to solve healthcare challenges at home and abroad.

Since its launch in 2009, PULSE has sent nearly 500 employees from 51 countries to serve 92 nonprofit partners in 61 countries, supporting partners that work on healthcare access and issues affecting children – this equates to $20.48 million worth of skilled services. The PULSE program enables our employees to work full-time with nonprofit organizations, leveraging their professional expertise and knowledge for the good of the organization and society.

GSK employee Vivian Cheng worked with Save the Children in the Philippines during a time when four typhoons, an earthquake and an armed conflict all took place, to make a difference in children’s lives while volunteering through our PULSE volunteer partnership.

Vivian says the experience taught her to “make the most of every resource available” and says the experience has made her more “confident to lead with a positive attitude” now she’s back at GSK. Read more about PULSE and the benefits it brings to communities, our employees and GSK in our 2013 impact report (PDF link will open in new window).

What are the benefits of PULSE?

By using their expertise to help non-profits with their most pressing problems, employees are able to make a sustainable difference to the organization and communities they serve. At the same time, employees benefit from this experience as they come back re-energized and return to GSK with fresh insights, ideas, and a renewed connection to our mission to help people “do more, feel better, live longer.”

The impact of PULSE is evident from the data we collect from our volunteers, our nonprofit partners, and the volunteers’ managers and colleagues at the end of a PULSE assignment. For example:

  • 90% of non-profit partners agree that as a result of the PULSE volunteer, their organization is doing something differently
  • 98% of PULSE volunteers believe that their assignment helped them develop their leadership skills

You can find out more about the program in the PULSE 2013 Impact Report (PDF link will open in new window)

Orange Day

Our other major volunteer program, Orange Day, gives employees one paid day off each year to volunteer for their chosen local community project. 

Orange Day can be an individual activity, a team event, or a worldwide focus.

In 2011, thousands of US staff volunteered as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Activities included packing more than 120,000 meals for people in Haiti, Kenya and Nicaragua and flood victims in the USA. The national day was initiated by MyGoodDeed, a charity of which we are a founding sponsor.

In 2013, for the first time we asked all our employees to work together to support a single cause. We set them the ambitious goal to raise £1 million for Save the Children as part of our global partnership with the charity. Fundraising activities during our 'Orange Week' alone raised almost £337,000, making a massive contribution to the target.