From time to time I take a break from my day job in this blog to talk about other experiences that are significant or have touched me in a special way. During this US Thanksgiving holiday I had a couple of things that came to mind.

One was Microsoft being named the top global company to work for, according to the Great Places to Work Institute. The Institute put together a list with the 25 best multinationals, and placed us at the top. As a company we are proud of the work our people get to do every day, and the impact we have on the world around us through our products and technologies. kivia

But there’s more to it than just products and technologies. As a company, we are committed to serving communities and working responsibly. Through our partnerships, our technology innovations, our people and our resources we are proud to help solve societal challenges and create economic opportunities on both a global and a local scale. You can read more about this at our corporate citizenship site.

I have always been a subscriber to the talk is cheap let’s go play philosophy and I had a recent experience with our annual Employee Giving Campaign that really drove home the great work we do.

You hear a lot about the work that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does but few know that Microsoft employees gave $96 million to charity in 2010 with over almost 35,000 employees contributing money in the United States alone! This is a phenomenal accomplishment and I was fortunate enough to be one of the team members sponsoring the Microsoft Employee 2011 Giving Campaign which is held each October for employees in the US. Our work focused on sharing information to our employees about the campaign, educating them on the tools, resources and how they could make a difference.

In addition, we coordinated a Giving event with a number of  national and local charities at our Redmond campus. I was the sponsor for KIVA which is an organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to microfinance institutions in developing countries around the world which in turn lend the money to small businesses.

This years Giving Campaign was a rewarding and remarkable experience that I am delighted to share with you and is just one more reason why Microsoft is a Great Place to Work! – Jon C. Arnold