By, Alexander Charles, Xerox corporate public relations coordinator

On February 13th, we announced our 2012 Social Service Leave  participants; 11 employees who have received fully-paid leaves of absences to volunteer for local non-profit organizations in their communities.

I had the opportunity to meet the group during their two-day Social Service Leave orientation where I noticed a common thread. Each acknowledged gratitude for the opportunity to help but downplayed the gratitude they so obviously deserve.

During the orientation each participant presented an outline of what they hope to achieve during their leave. And although each participant has pledged their time, expertise and personal resources, each first expressed gratitude to the company for the unique opportunity to serve.

For more than 40 years the Social Service Leave program has provided employees paid leaves to volunteer in their local communities.  But what has made the program so successful are the nearly 500 employees who have participated in the program over the years.

This group illustrates the most cited answer I’ve encountered on what employees love most about our company; the people.  It’s the people like those in our 2012 Social Service Leave group that make this a great company to work for and represent.

As I listened to each participant share their action plans and motivations for choosing their respective nonprofits, I couldn’t help but wonder if each Social Leave participant knew how much gratitude they truly deserve.

If not, I would like to be one of the first and many who will assuredly offer thanks and gratitude for demonstrating that above anything else it’s the people that make our company great.