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?
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.
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.
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?
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.