Motivated employees pursuing their passions, committed volunteers appearing on site to implement the project, but also formalities and procedures, standards to be met and difficult questions – Katarzyna Domańska, CSR Manager at Sii Poland, talks about her duties in the field of corporate social responsibility.
Tell us your story at Sii. How did your career path begin?
I joined Sii as a communication specialist over 11 years ago, when the company had 4 branches and 350 people on board throughout Poland. I was the first person to be dedicated to communication and PR. Previously, these activities were carried out by Joanna Kucharska, Head of the HR and Recruitment Department. Asia was my supervisor for many years.
I came to the company after a few years of solid PR school of life, with various experiences in broadly understood communication and marketing. I had the opportunity to work in the promotion department of a theater, in the PR agency for a rally team, in a large family company, in a stock exchange group and in a start-up – from the media industry to the food industry – until I joined Sii. I’m glad that I was able to successfully use these diverse experiences and start gaining a lot of new ones. My 11 years in Sii shows that this is a company worth staying at for a long time! 😊
Someone will say that so much time in one place is boring, but I don’t agree with that. Both the company and I have changed a lot during this time and we are still a source of development, inspiration and new challenges for each other. I learned a lot during this time and there were a lot of interesting, new projects (and still are)! The first examples are, the opening of a Facebook or Linkedin profile many years ago, the first quarterly newsletters or the Sii company calendar.
In the meantime, I was promoted to the position of Communication Manager, the department was enriched by another person, later combined with the then Marketing and Sales Support Department and the dynamic development began. Those times are interestingly remembered when the current Marketing, CSR and Communication Department has almost 40 people!
The next stage of your journey at Sii was the position of CSR Manager, which you hold to this day. How did you start in this position?
The area of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has always interested me very much and in 2015 I decided to supplement my knowledge on this subject during postgraduate studies at Kozminski University. The end of my studies coincided with my maternity leave, after which I returned to work with new knowledge and new experiences. I joined the Marketing and Communication Department, already managed by Anna Bednarz-Jaskot, as CSR Manager.
What is corporate social responsibility for Sii?
Sii is a service company based on people who provide these services and on interpersonal relationships. They are the most important, their sense of security and satisfaction – they are our priority area of responsibility. If we do something wrong, employees pose the greatest “risk” because they will simply quit or can further damage our reputation. Comparing: for a company producing furniture or glassworks, an extremely important aspect of CSR will be environmental management, or logistics, for a clothing company – caring for a responsible supply chain. Of course, in every enterprise all these elements are taken into account and none of them should be omitted, but the accents are put differently.
In the case of Sii, employee satisfaction is one of the business objectives, and their development is the company’s mission. CSR programs are obviously based on the company’s mission, objectives and values. On the initiative of Gregoir Nitot, CEO and founder of the company, inspired by conversations with employees, two flagship grant programs were created, which have been going on for several years.
The Passion Sponsorship Program supports employees financially and organizationally in the development of their private interests. The second – the Sii Power Volunteers are social and charity projects submitted by employees, in which we work together with foundations and help people in need or selected social groups.
Passion Sponsorship and Sii Power Volunteers are the favorite programs of Sii employees, often mentioned, among others, in the annual satisfaction survey. What would you say is the biggest challenge and the biggest satisfaction while managing them?
Undoubtedly, these are valued programs that constitute an important benefit for our best and most committed employees. A certain challenge is project management and proper promotion. Each of the projects deserves a lot of attention and is worth promoting. We must find time for every project leader, so we fight bravely in the marketing team so that no one feels neglected.
However, thanks to the programs, I work with the very best and it’s extremely inspiring! What do I mean the best? The programs involve mainly people who are ambitious, motivated, curious about the world, willing to act and take on new challenges. They stubbornly and consistently pursue their goals. By the way, they can infect others to act, share their motivation, talk about their field with passion and vast knowledge, or share experiences! This makes me discover new areas myself, become fascinated and motivated by working with them. The easiest way in the world is to make new friends who inspire and teach me. It is enough to look at my sports activities: when the Program started, I sometimes ran 5 km, sometimes a little more. Now I am an active member of the Sii Running Team, which takes part in dozens of runs in Poland, several half-marathons, a marathon (soon the second 😊), the first mountain run and a running camp in Szklarska Poręba. And I want more! I am also waiting impatiently for each new call for applications for the Programs, because each time I am surprised by some new initiatives, sports and passions unknown to me… With each program there is a chance for new inspiration!
Although project management itself consumes a lot of time, this is certainly not the end of your duties. Tell us what else do you do as CSR Manager at Sii?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has evolved towards sustainable development, which is now often hidden under the acronym ESG (Environment Social Governance). It must be remembered that Sii Poland is, firstly, a company that provides services to the world’s largest companies, and secondly, a company from the Sii Group is listed on the Paris stock exchange. Therefore, we are obliged by regulations and customer requirements to develop the ESG area, even if it was not in our strategy. Sii Poland, together with the Sii Group, has been obtaining the EcoVadis certificate for years, which proves a sustainable approach to development. In practice, this means continuous improvement of the organization, for example in terms of the environment (we obtained the ISO 14001 certificate in spring), carbon footprint calculation, care for the supply chain and responsible purchasing, anti-corruption and ethical procedures. It all lies in the area of CSR Manager’s interests and is partly within their competences. Of course, I don’t do it all alone, but I take part in many projects, initiate a lot, and try to implement new processes or procedures. I am also responsible for the annual CSR audit for Sii Poland, and for answering customer inquiries in this area.
If, like Kasia, you want to develop professionally among interesting people and make your passion come true thanks to your employer’s support – check out our job offers and join the team!