2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Marsh & McLennan Companies

On September 19, 2014, winners of the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards will be announced at our annual VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit, Mich. In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to people and ideas behind the ten most effective employee volunteer programs in our family of corporate clients, determined by performance against four benchmark measures in 2013.

What makes your employee volunteer program special?

A Marsh & McLennan Companies’ employee  based in Portland, Oregon who regularly volunteers at his local fire house and is involved in disaster preparedness education.

A Marsh & McLennan Companies’ employee based in Portland, Oregon who regularly volunteers at his local fire house and is involved in disaster preparedness education.

Marsh & McLennan Companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department focuses on helping people and communities at risk through education and disaster preparedness and recovery; by supporting select nonprofit partners, strategic fundraising campaigns, and employee volunteer initiatives.

The CSR team supports the Company’s global community, including offices in more than 130 countries and over 55,000 employees around the world. With the CSR team being relatively small, they have to be thoughtful, creative, and strategic when launching CSR programs. The department has streamlined its initiatives by creating programs, policies, and platforms that make it easier for employees to give back to their community.

Marsh & McLennan Companies' employees  in Hong Kong, China utilizing the Company's Paid Day off to Volunteer Policy.

Marsh & McLennan Companies’ employees in Hong Kong, China utilizing the Company’s Paid Day off to Volunteer Policy.

Regarding the Company’s employee volunteer initiatives, last year employees around the world entered over 4,000 volunteer hours utilizing the ‘Global Paid Day Off to Volunteer’ Policy. This policy is a great example of engaging employees and supporting them with one paid day off a year to volunteer with a local charity.

This often provides opportunities for employees to engage in team-building or skills-based volunteering. What better way to get to know your co-workers than sharing the experience of a day of giving back? The Company also has successful volunteer programs, like the Global Volunteer Recognition Program, Dollars for Doers-Volunteer Grants, and its Walks/Runs for a Charitable Cause Program.

The Company says VolunteerMatch has played an instrumental role in making it easier for employees to search and recruit for volunteer activities. The VolunteerMatch Solutions tools also enable the Company to track and report on volunteer engagement and community impact.

Marsh & McLennan Companies' employees  in Singapore renewing a local school.

Marsh & McLennan Companies’ employees in Singapore renewing a local school.

Tracking volunteer engagement has allowed the CSR team to establish volunteer metrics and internal benchmarking. Establishing volunteer goals and creating targeted communications to increase awareness can help spur the element of healthy competition to drive engagement. Another component of reporting that has been great for the Company’s programs is the ability to identify cause areas, types of volunteering, and programs that motivate the Company’s employees.

What are some key accomplishments from 2013 you’re especially proud of?

In 2013, Marsh & McLennan Companies increased engagement significantly, with a two-fold rise in volunteer hours and employee participation. This was a result of volunteer programs like Dollars for Doers-Volunteer Grants, and the Global Volunteer Recognition Program, that rewarded more than 2,000 employees in its first year of launching. Internationally, the Company created country-specific CSR committees and distributed seed funding to engage and support international volunteer efforts, as well as to grow local programs in scope and impact.

How do you get employees excited and involved in volunteering?

Marsh & McLennan Companies' employees  in  Cape Town, Africa repainting a pre-school in honor of Mandela Day.

Marsh & McLennan Companies’ employees in Cape Town, Africa repainting a pre-school in honor of Mandela Day.

It’s important to recognize employees who are taking the time to give back their community. The Company has created fun and creative ways to recognize and reward exceptional volunteers for tracking their community involvement on VolunteerMatch.

For example, this year the Company will provide the top Walk/Run for a Charitable Cause Leaders an opportunity to win a Fitness Fitbit-Activity tracker for recruiting the most employee volunteers. This is a fun way to encourage employees to organize walks/runs that support their local nonprofit organizations, and include their colleagues.

The CSR team has also found that posting volunteer stories and blogs on the Company intranet drives engagement. This is an easy way to recognize colleagues and empower them to share their volunteer stories and inspire others. Taking a holistic approach to reporting and storytelling has proven to be key to expanding the program’s impact and scope.

Kudos to Marsh & McLennan Companies for being a leader in employee engagement and inspiring social impact!

Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on September, 2014 during the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.

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2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Hagerty

On September 19, 2014, winners of the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards will be announced at our annual VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit, Mich. In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to people and ideas behind the ten most effective employee volunteer programs in our family of corporate clients, determined by performance against four benchmark measures in 2013.

What makes your employee volunteer program special?

Hagerty’s Claims department conducted mock interviews for teens at the Disability Network of Northern Michigan’s LIFE Job Summit.

Hagerty’s Claims department conducted mock interviews for teens at the Disability Network of Northern Michigan’s LIFE Job Summit.

Hagerty’s volunteer program is named Hagerty CARes. Hagerty CARes provides 16 hours of paid volunteer time each year to each full-time employee to volunteer for any nonprofit, school or church-affiliated community service program.

The program is an extension of what folks at Hagerty call the H-Factor. The H-Factor ideals are what make Hagerty unique as a company, in turn, making the Hagerty CARes program unique as a reflection of the company’s culture and each employee’s pursuit of excellence, innovation and authenticity.

 

 

Additionally, Hagerty provides company-supported volunteerism through two programs: wellness and an annual nonprofit partnership:

Hagerty employees led an American Cancer Society Relay for Life team.

Hagerty employees led an American Cancer Society Relay for Life team.

1.   To promote health and wellness, Hagerty provides company-sponsored opportunities for employees to volunteer for or participate in charitable races. Through this partnership with Hagerty’s employee gym, Ironworks, Hagerty CARes doubles the impact of the program: by improving employees’ health and serving their communities. Employees who participate in three or more charitable races per year will earn a reward from the Hagerty corporate recognition program.

2.   Hagerty’s 2014 annual nonprofit partnership with Father Fred began with a “Drive for Charity” in December 2013. Employees were challenged to log 2,500 Hagerty CARes hours through participation in ten charitable in-kind donation drives, personal volunteerism or by logging any 2013 volunteer hours in December. When the 2,500 hour goal was met, the designated organization received a matching gift of $25,000. In the new year, Hagerty CARes created a year-long strategic partnership plan with staff from the organization. This plan, divided into quarterly activities, encompasses all areas of the Hagerty CARes program: drives for in-kind donations, volunteerism and pro-bono service customized for the needs of the organization.

What are some key accomplishments from 2013 you’re especially proud of?

Here’s just a small taste of some of Hagerty’s impressive accomplishments in 2013:

  • Hagerty employees and their families participated in the 5th Annual Traverse City Zombie Run to raise funds for TART Trails.

    Hagerty employees and their families participated in the 5th Annual Traverse City Zombie Run to raise funds for TART Trails.

    In 2013, Hagerty reached its highest volunteer hour total in history: 5,929 hours!

  • To help meet the “Drive for Charity” goal, a food drive for Father Fred Foundation, the 2014 partner organization, was held at our holiday party. Hagerty’s CEO agreed to greet party-goers in costume while in a fabricated jail cell. Employees were asked to bring non-perishable food items to provide bail to “Free the Jailbird.” This was promoted with our CEO’s mugshot across campus on our corporate digital displays, intranet and daily email publication. In response to the CEO’s plea to “Free the Jailbird”, Hagerty employees donated enough non-perishables to feed 30 families for two and ½ days.
  • Hagerty CARes launched an enhanced partnership with our regional Chamber of Commerce to provide entrepreneurial pro-bono services worth $6,000 to the winner of the Hagerty Small Business Award. An additional 1:1 match up to $5,000 is given to the winner’s CSR efforts. If the winner doesn’t have a CSR program, Hagerty will help them to create one. The award is given by a selection committee to one of 10 finalists chosen from among hundreds of nominees.
  • Our inaugural charitable race event was the October 2013 Traverse City Zombie Run to benefit our regional trails organization. Nearly 70 employees participated in the event while competing internally for prizes. The winning team was provided with cider and doughnuts the week following the race.
  • A representative from each of our international offices in Canada and the UK are now part of our Hagerty CSR Committee. (They are currently working with UK and Canadian employees to utilize VolunteerMatch Global.)

How do you get employees excited and involved in volunteering?

McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, asks guests to “Free the Jailbird” with food donations to the Father Fred Foundation food pantry at the Hagerty Holiday Party.

McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, asks guests to “Free the Jailbird” with food donations to the Father Fred Foundation food pantry at the Hagerty Holiday Party.

The annual nonprofit partnership with Father Fred Foundation engages employees by offering different avenues to become involved. For example: An ongoing collection drive for Q2-Q4 2014 will supply clothing, small household items and non-perishable food for the organization; the Marketing department is scheduling a volunteer opportunity in lieu of a monthly meeting in Q3; and the Corporate Communications team designed new signage for the Father Fred store to serve English and Spanish speaking clients.

Hagerty utilizes all of its internal communication tools to spread the word about Hagerty CARes, including:

 

  • Daily email communication
  • Intranet blog and site
  • Monthly online magazine featuring regular updates on Hagerty CARes
  • Corporate digital displays promoting the latest volunteer opportunity, the annual nonprofit partnership and the joint health and wellness programming
  • Hagerty CARes & Ironworks workout gear, t-shirts and sweatshirts for purchase in the online employee store
  • Branded Hagerty CARes collection bins with the program logo, providing employees with an instantly recognizable means to provide an in-kind donation in the most trafficked areas like the lunchroom. The advertising benefit of the bins provides a reminder to employees to participate in a drive.
  • New employee training on Hagerty CARes

Kudos to Hagerty for being a leader in employee engagement and inspiring social impact!

Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on September, 2014 during the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.

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Congratulations, UnitedHealth Group! An Honor Well-Earned.

Since 2006, UnitedHealth Group and VolunteerMatch have been working together to motivate and engage employees to give back to their community. We’ve seen the company evolve and grow into one of the strongest, most innovative CSR programs out there.

Which is why we weren’t surprised when Points of Light acknowledged their hard work by presenting them with the 2014 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence. The award recognizes UnitedHealth Group for their amazing employee volunteer program, INVOLVE. With a core CSR mission to help build healthier communities, the program involves over 156,000 employees.

Points of Light commented that, “The annual Award recognizes companies that apply their resources, expertise and insights to activities that benefit society, and create a culture that inspires and equips employees to volunteer.”

UnitedHealth Group isn’t just encouraging its own workforce, the company also actively seeks new and innovative ways to change the space.

Last year, UnitedHealth Group released their “Doing Good is Good for You” study, a close look at the link between health and volunteering. They found that the effects of volunteering helped lower stress levels and increased happiness, proving that giving back is good for your mental, physical and emotional state!

We also see UnitedHealth Group investing in groundbreaking volunteering products, such as sponsoring VolunteerMatch’s MobileMatch, released in early 2014. With their support, VolunteerMatch was able to release a tool that allows volunteers to search & sign up for volunteer opportunities, and track volunteer hours, on the go!

As the Client Relations Manager for UnitedHealth Group, I can personally speak to the level of commitment and passion this team has. They are constantly striving to improve not only their own program, but the Corporate Social Responsibility sector as a whole.

I speak for the whole VolunteerMatch family when I say we are honored to partner with UnitedHealth Group, and look forward to even greater success in the future!

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2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Humana

On September 19, 2014, winners of the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards will be announced at our annual VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit, Mich. In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to people and ideas behind the ten most effective employee volunteer programs in our family of corporate clients, determined by performance against four benchmark measures in 2013.

What makes your employee volunteer program special?

Humana volunteers and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer take a quick break from playground landscaping at the Keystone Learning Academy.

Humana volunteers and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer take a quick break from playground landscaping at the Keystone Learning Academy.

Humana encourages employee volunteerism connected to promoting health and well-being in communities where Humana has a presence, however, all cause areas of interest to associates are recognized. Associates at Humana enjoy volunteering on their own, as well as with each other – in work teams, departments or company-wide initiatives.

Humana places a large emphasis on Days of Service, including Make a Difference Day and National Volunteer Week. Humana also regularly recognizes associate volunteerism through several grants, including Dollars 4 Doers, Volunteer of the Year, and awards the “Spirit of Philanthropy,” a distinction given to a group or department of associates who display exceptional commitment to the community through volunteerism.

What are some key accomplishments from 2013 you’re especially proud of?

In 2013 Humana implemented the Humana’s Volunteer Fellowship, a unique program that sent a team of five Humana associates to work at a nonprofit full-time for four weeks on a special project designed to create transformational change for the organization and the community.

The Humana Fellows assisted the Volunteer Center of Brown County in Green Bay, by formalizing their Neighbors Helping Neighbors program to a year-round initiative. Neighbors Helping Neighbors sends volunteers to help seniors and people with disabilities with routine home upkeep. The Humana team created a guidelines and procedures handbook, developed a marketing and outreach plan, established a database to track volunteers, and set up an evaluation plan to measure success.

The number of hours volunteered by Humana associates increased from 131,137 hours in 2012 to 164,434 hours in 2013; the number of volunteers increased from 4,521 in 2012 to 4,917 in 2013.

How do you get employees excited and involved in volunteering?

Humana volunteers unite for their 'before' picture this spring before helping Louisville's Keystone Learning Academy beautify its facility.

Humana volunteers unite for their ‘before’ picture this spring before helping Louisville’s Keystone Learning Academy beautify its facility.

One benefit offered to Humana associates is the WOW! Working on Well-being® Account, which recognizes associates’ efforts in enhancing their overall health and well-being. The WOW! Account rewards participation in activities and engagement with resources that support associates’ sense of purpose, belonging and security.

By taking part in certain activities associates can earn up to $150 to spend on items and services that broadly support associates and their family’s well-being. One of the activities for which associates earn WOW! dollars is logging volunteer hours on the Humana Volunteer Network website. Associates can earn $5/month for logging an individual volunteer event and up to twice each year, associates may earn $10/month for engaging in a group volunteer event.

Kudos to Humana for being a leader in employee engagement and inspiring social impact!

Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on September, 2014 during the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.

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2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist 1st Source Bank

On September 19, 2014, winners of the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards will be announced at our annual VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit, Mich. In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to people and ideas behind the ten most effective employee volunteer programs in our family of corporate clients, determined by performance against four benchmark measures in 2013.

What makes your employee volunteer program special?

A team of 1st Source employees volunteer with Rebuilding Together to improve the home of a low-income resident in South Bend.

A team of 1st Source employees volunteer with Rebuilding Together to improve the home of a low-income resident in South Bend.

1st Source Bank, based in South Bend, IN, is the largest locally controlled financial institution headquartered in the northern Indiana-southwestern Michigan area. This past year, 1st Source celebrated 150 years of service to its clients and the community. Being volunteer leaders in the community has been one of the company’s principal values since its founding, and it holds true today.

Key focus areas of the program include education, affordable housing, and financial literacy. Employees regularly assist with building Habitat for Humanity homes, repairing homes through Rebuilding Together, and mentoring local students.

What are some key accomplishments from 2013 you’re especially proud of?

This year, 1st Source partnered with Junior Achievement again to bring “JA in a Day” to a local elementary school. Thirty-one bank employees volunteered their time to teach financial literacy to 325 K-4 grade school students. The day was a valuable learning experience for bank employees and students alike!

1st Source employees join together for Junior Achievement’s “JA in a Day” at Warren Primary Center. Thirty-one bank employees taught financial literacy to 325 K-4 grade school students.

1st Source employees join together for Junior Achievement’s “JA in a Day” at Warren Primary Center. Thirty-one bank employees taught financial literacy to 325 K-4 grade school students.

Another key project this year was the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Super Saturday, in which 1st Source volunteers joined with the United Way to prepare and e-file income taxes free of charge for lower income individuals. 1st Source volunteers also raised funds for worthwhile organizations by forming countless walk teams and even “spinning” in support of mammogram funding.

1st Source employees volunteered almost 27,000 hours in 2013, an increase of more than 2,000 hours from the year prior. More than 45% of the company’s employees were active volunteers, and averaged 52 hours of volunteer activity per employee for the year. Based on an estimated $22 per hour value of volunteer time, 1st Source employees contributed almost $600,000 of volunteer services in their communities.

How do you get employees excited and involved in volunteering?

1st Source employees volunteering at La Casa’s Help-A-House. The 1st Source team helped replaced a roof and more for an elderly homeowner in need.

1st Source employees volunteering at La Casa’s Help-A-House. The 1st Source team helped replaced a roof and more for an elderly homeowner in need.

1st Source encourages its employees to use VolunteerMatch to communicate volunteer opportunities, and internal messages to direct employees to the VolunteerMatch system.

The company communicates bank-wide each quarter the volunteer hours for business units and regions. This creates some competition in the bank and is a reminder to use VolunteerMatch.

Kudos to 1st Source Bank for being a leader in employee engagement and inspiring social impact!

Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on September, 2014 during the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.

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Announcing the Year’s Best in Corporate Volunteer Engagement!

Announcing the top ten finalists of the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer AwardsIt’s that special time of year, when the VolunteerMatch team has the privilege of recognizing the best of the best in corporate employee volunteer engagement. Today we announced the top ten finalists in the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards, identified from our community of 150 corporate clients.

The winners of the Awards will be announced during the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit on September 19, 2014 in Detroit, Mich. From banking and finance, to airlines, real estate and energy, these finalists truly represent the cream of the crop in committed action in corporate community involvement.

In the coming weeks we’ll be profiling all ten finalists right here on Volunteering is CSR. This is a golden opportunity to get an insider view of employee volunteer programs who do it right, consistently, over the long haul.

For now, though, here are this year’s ten finalists for the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards:

Employee Volunteer Program of the Year (Large Size Business)

Awarded to a client with outstanding performance in corporate volunteer engagement, determined by performance against four benchmark measures in 2013. The 2014 nominees for this award are:

Humana
JetBlue
Marsh & McLennan Companies
Morgan Stanley
Philips

Employee Volunteer Program of the Year (Small-Medium Size Business)

Awarded to a client with a program for less than 10,000 employees who had outstanding performance in corporate volunteer engagement, determined by performance against four benchmarks in 2013. The 2014 nominees for this award are:

1st Source Bank
Hagerty
NV Energy
Old National Bank
The Standard

We’ll also be presenting awards for ‘Breakout Performance’ and ‘Champion of the Year,’ so stay tuned!

Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists – you and your employees are an inspiration for the rest of us!

Generous supporters of the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit include General Motors, MGM Resorts International, Delta Air Lines, The United Way of Southeastern Michigan and Newell Rubbermaid.

Learn more about the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit by clicking here.

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What Makes a Company a Great Corporate Citizen?

Congratulations to the companies in CR's 100 Best Corporate Citizens list for 2014!Isn’t that a question for the ages? Fortunately, we have some help in determining the elements that make for great corporate citizenship, as well as identifying the companies that are doing the best job living up to these expectations.

One of these resources is CR Magazine’s annual list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens, which was just recently released for 2014. This ranking system is not voluntary, and is one of the few programs of its kind that doesn’t rely at all on self-reporting from the participating companies. Instead, it analyzes nearly 300 data points per company, organizing the information into seven distinct categories. Each category is weighted differently, meaning it has a larger or smaller impact on the overall score of the company.

We are once again super proud at VolunteerMatch to see a whole bunch of our corporate clients on the list. Here are the members of the VolunteerMatch network identified as Best Corporate Citizens in 2014:

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Gap, Inc.
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • CA Technologies
  • Raytheon Co.
  • Dow Chemical Co.
  • Ingersoll-Rand Plc
  • AT&T, Inc.
  • Procter & Gamble Co.
  • Humana Inc.
  • Eli Lilly & Co.
  • Target Corp
  • AMGEN Inc.
  • Conagra Foods, Inc.
  • Colgate-Palmolive Co.
  • Whirpool Corp.
  • Prudential Financial Inc.

One thing we noticed right away: a lot of the companies listed above are ranked very highly in the “Employee Relations” category. In fact, four of them are in the top 15! And Employee Relations happens to be one of the two heaviest-weighted categories, meaning it counts the most towards the overall score.

What does this mean? This says to us that employee relations is a very important element of being a good corporate citizen. And volunteer engagement has become a key strategy for attracting and retaining great employees. Obviously, our clients do a wonderful job in this area. It’s our goal and focus that the VolunteerMatch employee volunteer solutions tools continue to help these companies and many others be great corporate citizens.

Congratulations to all of the companies on CR’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2014 list!

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