Helping people with passion and commitment is in the DNA of Visma | Raet in the Netherlands. Their HR software and services give people easier workdays and allow organisations to grow. They also support initiatives aimed at helping communities and contributing to equality and a healthier environment. For Visma | Raet, these are equally important factors in making a positive social impact.
“We focus on helping people and making a difference, both in our operations and by supporting our local communities”, says Els van der Zalm, CSR Officer at Visma | Raet. “Helping people makes them happy, and happy people make us happy”, she continues.
Visma | Raet is continuously working on sustainable HR processes, where diversity and inclusion play integral parts. Their main pillar for inclusion is social return. By working with colleagues, customers and partners on socially relevant initiatives, they shape inclusivity and create sustainable employment for people outside the labour market.
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Enabling growth through partnerships
One of the local initiatives Visma | Raet has partnered with is JINC, an organisation that believes in giving children equal opportunities. They help 8 to 16-year-old children to get a good start in the labour market through their JINC program. Because of their efforts, more than 65,000 primary and pre-vocational secondary students are allowed to grow every year.
Visma | Raet employees contribute to the program by providing training and hosting workshops. They also let a student be their CEO for one day every year.
“Our partnership with JINC allows everyone to grow. In 2019, our young CEO met the King of the Netherlands and spoke with him about education and business life”, Els explains.
They also have a social return collaboration with Specialisterren, a social enterprise that works with people with autism and employs them for advanced software testing. The quality they deliver is characterised by their testers; testers with autism are regarded as better than others.
By working closely with Specialisterren, Visma | Raet contributes to developing the capacities and talents of people with autism who might otherwise be excluded from the labour market.
Making an impact through local initiatives
Before the pandemic, Visma | Raet were involved in many activities in their local communities. On one occasion, they took 100 clients from a healthcare institution for a visit to the zoo. Visma Raet employees and management went along and helped push their wheelchairs.
“It turned out to be a meaningful day for everyone involved”, Els explains. “After the visit to the zoo, one of our employees said: ’I start the day as I do every day. I open my laptop, but my view on life has been changed.'”
Visma | Raet also initiated a winter wonderland party for more than 1200 students, teachers and parents at a school for children with Down syndrome in December 2019.
A large group of colleagues from Visma | Raet decorated the entire school in a winter wonderland theme, and external business partners took part in getting the event together. Some employees were dressed as Frozen figures, they did a play together with the students, and the children dressed up for a picture taken by a photographer.
“All the activities at the school were arranged by our employees; it was a wonderful celebration of light, wonder, passion and connection”, Els explains.
Visma | Raet has initiated several activities to support their customers in the healthcare sector during the pandemic. They sponsored a virtual cycling environment and financed two meeting houses for vulnerable target groups so they could still receive visitors.
Rewarding for everyone involved
Visma | Raet’s employees are happy to be involved in their social initiatives and form the backbone of their sustainability work. They also have a committee of employees who act as an accelerator for socially engaged and sustainable projects. Everyone involved is excited to use their talents, knowledge and skills to provide meaningful services to others.
They have developed a ‘Helping Hands Policy’ to promote equal opportunities in society, where both employees, partners and customers are involved. Employees not only give guest lectures but also actively participate in different projects and initiatives of their customers.
“Whenever we place a call for social projects, the response and motivation are great. All these initiatives contribute to the development of people, both for ourselves and for those we support,” said Els.
For example, they recently raised a large amount at an auction for new sustainability projects. During their staff party, they collected money for the children’s Christmas party. Other fundraising campaigns include collecting food for the food bank and winter coats for people who cannot afford it themselves.
One of the most meaningful returns of Visma | Raet’s social and environmental initiatives is a mutual connection and respect for others within the company. “Ultimately, when we all work together for an equal society, we contribute to creating a beautiful world where everyone is welcome,” Els concludes.
We are thrilled that Visma Raet is taking the lead and inspiring us with their social initiatives. You can learn more about Visma’s contribution on our sustainability pages.