The Optus Pacesetters program is an annual travel incentive and conference, rewarding employees from various business units. To be a winner, they must achieve exceptional sales results, meet KPIs and demonstrate the Optus’ core values of customer focus, challenger spirit, teamwork, integrity, and personal excellence. Every year, the Pacesetters program has a strong focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), striving to make a positive difference in the world.
It is this dedication to CSR and aligning with Optus’ priorities that resulted in the 2019 Pacesetters program being awarded “Best use of CSR” at the 2020 Conference & Incentive Travel Awards APAC.
Our award-winning 2019 CSR project was held in the temperate island of Bali, a destination with great opportunities for attendees to be inspired, rewarded, empowered and to give back to the local community. Pacesetters were immersed in the smells, colours, tastes and sounds of Balinese culture in beautiful Nusa Dua.
The CSR project
With the local expertise of Destination Asia, one of our preferred Destination Management Companies, we identified the SLB Jimbaran School – an institution for children with special needs that had been devastated by earthquakes and had received no government funding for repairs. The school educated 320 students, with curriculum-based lessons to assist in the development of their careers, and with life skills that teach them to manage the prejudice they may experience in the workforce.
Making a difference
Then, with 220 pairs of Pacesetter hands, the motivation and skilled guidance of Adam Dovile (builder and television presenter) and the presence of local students, parents and teachers, the work got started.
By the end of the day:
- Eight classrooms across three buildings were painted inside and out
- Four brand new solar lights were installed
- New shelving units were set up
- New toilets were installed
- Overgrown gardens were cleared and prepared for planting
We left behind new equipment for classrooms to ensure the good work continued long after our departure. Optus also donated two wheelchairs to a family present on site, after Pacesetters saw that one of the songs had a wheelchair made from a plastic lawn chair and the other son had to be carried by their mother.
“It’s really fulfilling being able to meet the kids and knowing you’re doing for someone. It’s not just sending money for someone else to do it.”
Beyond the moment
An Integrated Communication Strategy carried the impact beyond the day: it was developed to inspire, engage and motivate pacesetters before, during and after the trip as well as provide them with a genuine understanding of their contribution and what it would mean to the community. A dedicated brand identity was created for the program which was present in all marketing collateral including videos, EDMs, a devoted website with interactive content, a sustainable travel pack, a customised mobile app, and an online photo gallery – all deliberate inclusions to elevate the impact of the CSR project further.
The remaining days of the trip were dedicated to building on the good energy created by the CSR project. Pacesetters attended conference sessions with inspiring speakers including Elly Johnson, Michael Licenblat, Future Crunch, and Kurt Fearnley – their infectious energy and passion for life continuing to drive and energise.
Once back onshore, Pacesetters received communications highlighting their contribution to SLB, including a before/after video, as well as photos of students in their newly renovated school. This extended their feelings of achievement and pride.
The core objective of the Optus Pacesetters CSR project was the create a place where special needs students could thrive and develop in a safe and comfortable environment – a place that promoted positivity and gave them not only education but a sense of community, and career and life skills.
As a result of the CSR project, SLB can deliver more for its students – intake could increase and the renovations provided the students with an environment that was safe and promoted learning and development. SLB became an organisation that could make a bigger, ongoing difference in the local community.
Pacesetters went home feeling accomplished and fulfilled. They had revitalised passion and drive to work towards goals and KPIs, remain focused on priorities and demonstrate their company values every day – motivated by the chance to be part of Optus Pacesetters the following year.