Chey Garland, chief executive of Garlands Call Centres, believes the work done by her staff in the community enhances their communication and presentation skills as well as their wider motivation.
"Some of our IT staff ran a six-week project to set up an intranet with local schoolchildren. They came back energised and with better communication, project management and coaching skills. It is a good thing to get IT staff involved in this type of thing as they are often isolated," she said.
"I believe it is paying for itself. Sickness is down, attrition is down and the quality of what staff deliver is enhanced."
The company - which employs 1,300 people - declared an amnesty to discover the reasons for sick days and devised a programme of local projects, including providing IT training to local schools.
It has managed to reduce attrition and absenteeism rates to 5% and 4% respectively, compared to a call centre industry average of 22% and 6%.