CSR Food For Thought: It’s All About the Employees

CSR-Food-For-Thought_Newspaper-Stack12-200x149The CSR Food for Thought series is a weekly roundup of relevant news from around the Web, presented to you in one bite-sized blog post. Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

 

 

The Crucial – and Underappreciated –  Role of HR in Sustainability
At VolunteerMatch, we’ve been saying this for a while: CSR should be built into the very core of a company. An important part of achieving this is to include CSR in your employee recruitment and onboarding processes. This post from MIT Sloan Management Review challenges companies to do better at incorporating CSR into their HR practices. They advocate for a quadruple bottom line – people, planet, profit, and community impact. We couldn’t agree more!

Cisco Employee Volunteers Help a Texas Family Rebuild
Cisco has partnered with Habitat for Humanity for decades. But for Cisco Project Manager Beth Kolman, this time was different. In this post, she conveys how she was moved by the experience of attending a groundbreaking ceremony with fellow employees and hearing directly from the family they were helping. At VolunteerMatch, we love hearing stories like this. Offering fulfilling volunteer opportunities is a great way to keep your employees happy.

Supercharge Your CSR Commitments through Employee Engagement
As this Triple Pundit article puts it, “Happy employees usually equal profitable companies”. It gives numerous examples (summarized from the Conference Board of Canada’s recent CSR Summit) of companies supercharging their CSR by following this advice: Start at the top, get employee buy-in and participation, tell awesome stories, and assemble a great team.

13 Disturbing Facts about Employee Engagement [Infographic]
Don’t let this scary-sounding infographic from The Huffington Post’s blog get you down. Yes, it shows that employee engagement, overall, is low. But it also shows how much room there is for improvement, how much we have to gain from investing in employee engagement, and how much potential exists to make your company stand out from the crowd.

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2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit Insights: Come On, Get Happy!

At the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit, we learned from experts in CSR, volunteer engagement, technology and program administration. In this series of blog posts, we’ll share with you the valuable insights offered at each session. Up today: REally Happy Employees: The Impact of Well-being.

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John C. Haven, The H(app)athon Project

When was the last time you found yourself laughing hysterically in a conference session? Oh, and also watching a video of a dog try to speak? For me, the start of the “REally Happy Employees: The Impact of Well-being” session at our recent Client Summit was the start of a high-energy discussion on the potential impact employee happiness and well-being can have on your CSR programs.

John C. Havens, founder and executive director of The H(app)athon Project, introduced us to some very interesting concepts in just 45 minutes. He showed how wearable and emerging technologies are transforming the workplace and challenging us to measure employee well-being to drive positive bottom-line results.

The most refreshing thing about the discussion was that the session itself was an experiment in the very topic being discussed! In other words, Havens had everyone in the room smiling, talking with one another, and asking questions about how their own programs might improve with a little bit of humanity. Imagine the company that provides Fitbits to its employees and ends up saving money on health insurance costs. Or, how about the organization that determines which activities excite employees most (working with kids, being outdoors, etc.) and integrates those specific projects as part of its Global Day of Caring? Mixing common sense and very complicated technologies, and ultimately infusing a little humanity back in the workplace, clearly resonated with everyone in the room.

For me, it was a chance to think differently for a few moments and remember that the programs we’re all managing are about the people and relationships – not just the hours tracked.

For more happiness, view the full slide deck from this presentation. You can also check out 2012 World Happiness Report and explore the Gross National Happiness Index.

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2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit Insights:  What is Your EVP Data Saying?

At the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit, we learned from experts in CSR, volunteer engagement, technology and program administration. In this series of blog posts, we’ll share with you the valuable insights offered at each session. Up today: REanalyze: What is Your EVP Data Saying?

“How are we doing?”

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Jake Sanches, internal metrics and analytics guru at Palantir Technologies

This is the most common question our client services team hears from our corporate and nonprofit partners. And it should be. Employee volunteer programs, like any other business expenditure, need to demonstrate impact and value to multiple audiences. Data is critical to the success and continued support of EVPs, especially since these programs are relatively new in the corporate world and don’t yet have an established set of benchmarks.

So, how can your organization answer that oh-so-common question: How are we doing?

There are some existing guideposts, such as the number of hours employees contribute, the social value generated (a calculation based on numbers from the Independent Sector), the percent of employees engaged, and so on. However, because of the lack of public benchmarks, small sample sizes for specific company types and sizes, and the fact that companies have different cultures, priorities, and history when it comes volunteering, it’s very hard to make valid comparisons. At VolunteerMatch, we often suggest that each company, with some guidance, take it upon themselves to identify outcomes that reflect their priorities and keep an eye on these outcomes over time.

The most important thing is, if not to fall in love, then at least fall in like with data! VolunteerMatch wants to lead this charge. This summer and fall, we worked with Jake Sanches, a volunteer from Palantir Technologies. We designed and sent a survey to our clients asking what metrics are important to them, how they use data, and how VolunteerMatch can improve its reporting dashboard and quarterly reports.

During his presentation at the Client Summit, Jake discussed the survey’s findings. He demonstrated how big data has made its way into the public consciousness through sites like Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com, and how data can be a significant driver in the development of your EVP. Jake then covered how to choose the right metrics for your program and brought up commonly overlooked metrics. These included: Finding volunteers based on tenure to make sure new employees are getting into the program quickly, discovering your rock star volunteers so they can help spread the word, determining the time of year most popular for volunteering, and much more. He concluded with a list of best practices for communicating data to different audiences.

In summary, if you really want your EVP to soar, data is critical. You can start small, with just a few easy metrics, and as your program evolves, you can expand. You might even find some hidden gems that reflect something unique to your company. Incorporating a metrics-centered approach will not only give you a better idea of what’s going on with your program right now, but will help you plan for the future, help you to make the case for expansion and budget increases, and will generate great storytelling material.

For more details on this topic, view the slides from Jake’s presentation. You can also watch the video from his encore Webinar.

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Upcoming Best Practice Network Webinar: 2014 Giving in Numbers – Insights from CECP’s Annual Research

Giving in Numbers 2014 EditionGiving in Numbers is the leading benchmark on corporate giving and socially motivated employee engagement programs.

In this year’s report, CECP, in association with The Conference Board, collected data from a record 261 companies on their 2013 contributions and employee engagement programs.

2014 Giving in Numbers: Insights from CECP’s Annual Research

In the November Best Practice Network webinar, CECP’s Michael Stroik will discuss trends in giving in the four years since the recession; how giving stacks up against consumer and CEO confidence; what it takes to be among the top 25 percent of corporate givers; which types of employee engagement programs are expanding; and for the first time, how companies are measuring the social impact of their giving.

Register for this free event.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
10am – 11am PT (1-2pm ET)

Follow along with the conversation on Twitter: @VM_Solutions and #VMbpn.

Our Speaker:

Michael Stroik
CECP

Register for this free webinar now.

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CSR Food For Thought: Spread the Love

CSR-Food-For-Thought_Newspaper-Stack12-200x149The CSR Food for Thought series is a weekly roundup of relevant news from around the Web, presented to you in one bite-sized blog post. Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

 

 

Is Love in the Workplace the New Norm?
Gratitude, accountability, truthfulness, and yes – love – are becoming more and more prevalent in the workplace. And we think that’s great! At VolunteerMatch, we believe corporate responsibility includes taking care of your employees and encouraging them to take care of themselves and others. Find out why you shouldn’t be afraid to spread the love in your company in this post from Justmeans.

Engage and Excel: How Corporate Responsibility Improves the Bottom Line
Think your company’s top performers don’t have time to volunteer? Think again. In this Triple Pundit article, PwC takes an in-depth look at the connection between CSR involvement and employee performance in their company. Not only is participation in CSR activities an indicator of overall job performance, it also means the employee is more likely to stick around longer. PwC also explains why CSR needs to expand out of an HR function and permeate the systems of an entire company.

5 Things Good Leaders Do
This is not your typical list of leadership traits. VolunteerMatch President Greg Baldwin looks critically at the qualities that embody two outstanding leaders: Premal Shah of Kiva and Charles Best of DonorsChoose.org. While what he found may or not surprise you, it will certainly inspire you.

Employee Giving Campaign: Millennial Employees Help Keep Traditions Alive
Each year, Microsoft takes the entire month of October to give back to their local and global communities. A 5K walk/run, fundraiser, concert, cooking, online auction… the sheer amount of programs and ways to get involved is astounding! In this blog post, they share the highlights from their month, and explain how they were able to give more than ever this year with the help of their younger workforce.

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2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit Insights: 5 Things Good Leaders Do

At the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit, we learned from experts in CSR, volunteer engagement, technology and program administration. In this series of blog posts, we’ll share with you the valuable insights offered at each session. Up today: REinventing Giving and Engagement.

charlesandpremalLast month I had the privilege of introducing two of my heroes, Premal Shah, President of Kiva and Charles Best, Founder & CEO of DonorsChoose.org, as our Keynote speakers at the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit.

We asked them to have a conversation with each other about how technology is reinventing giving and engagement. As they were talking back and forth and sharing their stories, I was struck by how two gifted leaders go about educating, engaging and inspiring an audience to get involved. Needless to say, they are both very good at it….

Read the rest of Greg Baldwin’s post to find out the five things that make leaders like Premal and Charles so good. 

 

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