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When the global pandemic hit, our Corporate Citizenship and Accenture Development Partnership teams asked our nongovernmental organization (NGO) partners: How can we best support you so you can continue to provide services, at a time when people need help more than ever?
The most pressing need, they said, was to figure out how to shift to an all-virtual working environment—and fast.
Since Accenture’s working model allows us to collaborate virtually with team members and clients worldwide, it made sense to create a resource that allows us to share our insights and help nonprofits determine how to make the switch as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.
Thirty Accenture volunteers from around the globe came together, dedicating more than 200 volunteer hours to create and deliver the Virtual Ways of Working Playbook. The first version of the playbook was established in one week and included five chapters, each with its own accompanying training session.
The Playbook and training sessions are available free to all Accenture NGO partners, as well as other nonprofits who can benefit from the resource. The comprehensive toolkit offers guidance for working virtually, covering everything from logistics and equipment to maintaining your company culture.
- Finding the right tools: Including software and hardware (including no-fee options where applicable) and addressing data security needs.
- Establishing a virtual culture: Emphasizing communication and flexibility, developing new team rituals.
- Leading a remote workforce: Helping the workforce adapt to changes in work environments.
- Executing virtual workshops: Designing the session, human connection, virtual meeting agenda and tools.
- Caring for your body and mind: How to maintain schedules and focus on nutrition and physical activity, and maintain human connections.
The Playbook in action
To date, the Playbook has already been used by nearly 600 NGO professionals, along with numerous training sessions led by Accenture volunteers.
Youth Business International (YBI), which supports underserved young entrepreneurs across the world, is one of the largest NGO partners to use the tool. CEO Anita Tiessen shared her appreciation of the Playbook, stating that it has offered “just-in-time support for YBI members, who are directly supporting young entrepreneurs as they face their biggest challenge yet for business survival.”
Planning for the future
The effects from the COVID-19 outbreak will be long-lasting and far-reaching. The Playbook covers topics related to the workforce in general as the world adjusts to working more remotely and in a virtual environment.
The Playbook will evolve along with the needs of our nonprofit partners, as we continue to support them on their journey to success in the future—and beyond the time of COVID-19.
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