How Navan Employees Take Action in Their Local Communities

How Navan Employees Take Action in Their Local Communities

Samantha Shankman

13 Sep 2022
4 minute read
Volunteers at a soup kitchen.

TakeActions, the in-house community impact program at Navan, believes in making an impact in our local and global communities through in-person connections.

Each quarter, the Employee Resource Group (ERG) aims to do two things: 

  • Present volunteer opportunities and programs in partnership with local organizations. 
  • Showcase and amplify causes that employees care about and are involved with outside of work. 

These initiatives help employees build connections with their communities—and with each other. 

“Through our meetings and outreach, we hear again and again that Navan employees care deeply about suffering around the world as well as about their neighbors who may be struggling. As our name suggests, employees are eager to take action and make a positive impact,” said ERG global co-lead Caitlin Sanford, Principal UX Researcher at Navan.

“We know that when volunteering, it is often those who are ‘giving’ their time who actually gain in perspective, humility, and gratitude for their own good fortune,” she said. “Private sector companies like Navan can support the nonprofit sector by bringing eager volunteers.”

Caitlin co-leads the ERG alongside Allison Slater, Director of People Development at Navan. 

Navan Team Members Invest in Their Local Communities

ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that support and unite diverse communities to cultivate a greater sense of awareness and belonging throughout the company. They are part of the Belong: DEI Council, which helps foster collaboration and supports company-wide efforts to build awareness and increase visibility.

This autumn, the TakeActions ERG is planning a series of volunteer days around some of the Navan main offices in the Bay Area of California, as well as Dallas and New York City. Employees are eager to assist with food pantry stocking and distribution, delivering meals, and contributing to holiday gifts for children. 

“A benefit of our distributed workforce is that each office can define what cause the employees are most excited about, and can benefit from employee knowledge of great nonprofits in the area,” explained Caitlin.

The TakeActions ERG also highlights and amplifies the work of remote employees involved with nonprofit and community impact causes and details how others can get involved.

One of the group’s members, SachinRadhakrishnan, Mid-Market Sales Development Representative, was a social worker before joining the tech industry and starting a nonprofit that helps the homeless. He’s had first-hand experience stepping into people’s lives and helping them get off the streets.

“The work means a lot to me even though it burned me out. The TakeActions ERG is a balanced way for me to share my knowledge and also do some real work in our communities,” said Sachin, who will work with the team to fight the stigma that people have against homeless people and champion in-person volunteering opportunities.

“Just how Navan powers in-person connections and understands the value of doing things live and in the flesh, I hope that TakeActions can do the same and use our collective talent to do more, “ he said “We are innovators and problem-solvers by nature. We should be tackling some of the biggest problems that the world has today—not shy away from complex and challenging social problems any more than we would a technological challenge."

Rob Ervin, Travel Experience Manager, Is active in his local community and was excited to learn about the ERG and its mission aligned with his personal values.

“I’m excited to see TakeActions motivate people across every team, department, and region to get involved with initiatives and organizations they feel passionate about to help make positive change,” said Rob. Some may feel that they are just one person, but the more of those ‘one persons’ that get involved, the more difference can be made. I am a firm believer that when you put good out into the world, not only can it come back to you, but it can also be infectious to others to want to make a difference as well.”

Rob believes that Navan truly lives its core value of “One Diverse Team” and that this program is a great example of that value in action. 

Working for a Greater Cause

The TakeActions co-leads and members are thinking through how the company can take a bigger role in causes that relate to the Navan mission of promoting in-person connection through travel.

“Sometimes, we can all get caught up in our work and urgent tasks can loom large. Connecting with the broader community helps to put these issues in perspective and give us an important reset,” said Caitlin. “We hope that through volunteering and awareness of social challenges, employees can grow closer and provide a bit of help to organizations powering important community services.”

Diversity, equality, and inclusion permeate every part of the mission at Navan, and the workplace is built to be a foundation for personal and professional growth—regardless of an employee’s gender, nationality, or background. Interested in a career at Navan? See what roles are available today.

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