What Boston Partners Has Done for My Company Culture

By Darrin Lang, LABUR CEO

Creating a company culture that promotes volunteerism has been imperative to our growing business.

As a business co-owner in Boston, I learned quickly that building these company values requires connecting with the Boston community around us. For four years now, LABUR has been a proud partner of Boston Partners in Education, a nonprofit that helps place community mentors into Boston Public Schools classrooms.

I have sat on the board for Boston Partners in Education for the last two years and served as a Big Cheese Reader since 2014. And nothing has been more rewarding or contributed more to our successful and engaged culture than partnerships like the one we have with Boston Partners.

It was 10 years ago when I co-founded LABUR with my very good friend and business partner, Seth Burr, and together with our team, we provide IT consultative services and solutions to Fortune 500 companies faced with complex enterprise-wide challenges. We created the LABUR culture based on care, commitment – and relationships. And we fully believe you can’t do the work we do without those three key ingredients and business qualities. Beyond the rewarding work, people who come together to volunteer for a cause they’re passionate about have deeper, and more meaningful relationships, which is why our culture has been rooted in giving back to the community since day one.

Through our philanthropic efforts, this cultivation of like-minded people was created, and has shaped our culture through the years.

A Company Culture Shaped by Giving Back

In LABUR’s line of work — drawing in quality people with a high degree of self-guidance and ‘doing what’s right’ — we naturally relate and connect to people with a strong sense of community and those who like to give back. Communal causes like volunteerism attract internal and external partners to your business, but that culture must permeate throughout your business and be backed by the values your company lives and operates by. In other words, your volunteer efforts can’t be a lip service, they must be something every person at the company feels passionately about in order for it to be genuine and attract other like-minded people.

Exposure to an environment different than your own enables employees to step out of their comfort zones. This creates friendships across teams that may otherwise not have formed in the office. Collaboration improves when people trust each other, and volunteerism can foster that trust. A culture of commitment within the office, as exemplified through volunteerism, will transcend to a culture of commitment with clients and attract these like-minded people.

Why I Promote This as a CEO

As a Boston-based company, getting involved with Boston Partners is a mutually beneficial partnership. Not only are we getting involved in a great cause, but it’s a rewarding way to get everyone at LABUR out of the office to network and promote the LABUR brand while helping to build the Boston Partners brand as well. As I was talking with Ryan Sylvia, Managing Director at LABUR and another Big Cheese Reader, he said:

“Being a part of a growing team and having the ability to help shape our internal and external brands drives me daily.”

To me, there is no better brand to be supporting than one of future, informed leaders. It’s something everyone can get behind and get involved with here at LABUR – and it’s a cause bigger than our own.

One of the biggest things I love about Boston Partners is the multitude of ways that people can get involved. You can visit a middle school classroom through the Big Cheese Reads program, or read to a student each week through Power Lunch. You can serve as a mentor to a student for the entire school year, support the annual Big Cheese Read Gala, and so much more. This makes for efforts that can be fulfilled by anyone from any walk of life, and it allows them to share their experience with the most deserving audience – kids.

Closing Thoughts

There is no better feeling than giving back. The emotional value gained from working together on a communal cause has done great things for me and my work family. It binds people together more than operating solely on a business level does. It has allowed us to “get in the weeds” together and work towards bettering and enriching the lives and the community around us.

Being involved in the Big Cheese Reads, specifically, is one of the most fulfilling things I do each year. I have never regretted any of the time I have spent volunteering and I only wish as a company we could do more. Thank you, Boston Partners in Education, for all that you have given to me. I proudly volunteer my time in your organization – and I encourage others to do the same.


For more information about LABUR, visit LABUR.com

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