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 organisations and develop professional skills in challenging environments. In return our partners benefit from strategic planning, operational improvements and enhanced communications. Our two flagship volunteering programmes 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 non-profit organisation for three to six months full-time, contributing their skills to solve healthcare challenges at home and abroad.

Since its launch in 2009, PULSE has sent 810 employees from 65 countries to serve 127 non-profit partners in 77 countries, supporting partners that work on healthcare access and issues affecting children. The PULSE programme enables our employees to work full-time with non-profit organisations, leveraging their professional expertise and knowledge for the good of the organisation and society.

Each PULSE assignment is created by our NGOs and is ‘need driven’. The NGO determines what challenge or opportunity they need help with and in what geography. GSK employees are matched based on their skillsets and development objectives. One of the key reasons why NGOs need skills-based volunteers is that they often lack the resources or talent to potentially address this need. In that sense, a loaned GSK employee is not merely filling the resource or talent gap, but someone who can help build capacity for the NGO in the longer term.

In 2019, GSK celebrated 10 years of the PULSE programme. Employees from across the 10 years shared their experiences in the latest Employee Volunteering Impact Report. 

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 organisation and communities they serve. At the same time, employees benefit from this experience as they come back re-energised 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 non-profit partners, and the volunteers’ managers and colleagues at the end of a PULSE assignment. For example:

  • 93% of non-profit partners agree that their organisation is doing something differently due to their PULSE volunteer.
  • 90% of volunteers’ GSK line managers agree that PULSE was a development opportunity for their employee.

Orange Day

Our other major volunteer programme, Orange Day, gives employees one paid day off each year to volunteer for their chosen local community project. Employees often complete their Orange Days working on local community projects, from cleaning up parks to mentoring students.

In 2018, we recorded over 121,237 hours of volunteering by 10,429 employees in 77 different countries.

Example of Orange Days include:

  • 250 employees volunteered for ‘National Senior Citizen’s Day’ in Taiwan. In three separate events in the northern, central and southern part of the country, employees along with their NGO hosts accompanied senior citizens and took them to the local museums and arboretums to spend the day out with them.
  • 30 senior leaders from Belgium and Switzerland sites participated in a one-day skilled-based volunteering workshop in October to provide consultation and expertise to 6 different NGOs. Each of the NGOs came in with a specific organisational challenge that our leaders help to address.
  • In Nigeria, 125 employees partnered with public education institutions to raise funds for children in need. Volunteers procured schooling materials and spent over 1250 hours in schools – mentoring students, conducting hygiene trainings and painting desks and classrooms.