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?
Philips is a technology company that cares about people and addresses some of the world’s biggest challenges to help make the world a better place. Philips Cares is North America’s community outreach program that supports the company’s drive to do good by providing employees with ways to work together to create healthy, sustainable communities that contribute to the success and well-being of people today, and for a better tomorrow.
This can take many forms: from helping a child to excel in math, to making a corporate donation to a nonprofit in need, to taking part in the Heart Walk to raise awareness about heart health. Our actions through community outreach help Philips to improve the quality of individual lives not only through our technical innovations, but through our people and our shared belief that each of us can touch the lives of those around us.
Through Philips Cares, employees participate in meaningful volunteer opportunities that suit their needs, schedules, and passions. In addition, the company and employees alike can make financial donations to the charities that contribute to the health and well-being of others. Through these contributions, Philips is able to improve the quality of life in its communities today and for tomorrow.
What are some key accomplishments from 2013 you’re especially proud of?
Philips employees help the fight against heart disease and stroke through their involvement with the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. 2,500+ employees participate in 25+ Heart Walks across the country on an annual basis (raising $350,000+). This event has become a tradition at Philips in North America and some markets have been participating for 14+ years!
Philips and Rebuilding Together have teamed up to provide much needed health, safety, and/or energy efficient home improvements to the elderly, disabled, veterans and victims of natural disasters. These improvements help families to live in their homes longer and improve the quality of life for families and surrounding communities. Improvements are funded by Philips, and employees work together to complete hands on projects. In 2013, Rebuilding Together and Philips renovated over 20 homes through the help of over 350 Philips volunteers serving over 1,300 homeowners and community members. The combined effort provided over $725k in market value to eight communities across the country.
As a technology company focused on improving lives through innovation, Philips supports National 4-H Council’s science education programs that aim to get kids excited about science. Through their support of 4-H’s National Youth Science Day in 2013, Philips and its employees engaged 1,250 kids in science related activities in five cities in the USA.
As part of a commitment to improve the lives of even the smallest members of our community, Philips and the March of Dimes worked together in 2013 to support families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) through volunteer events in 5 cities across the country. The events were part of a larger sponsorship by Philips Mother & Child Care and the Philips Cares community outreach program to benefit the March of Dimes’ NICU Family Support efforts. About 125 employees teamed up to package “power of touch” care kits for new families with a baby in the NICU.
How do you get employees excited and involved in volunteering?
The first strategy is to understand what employees are interested in, and tap into those areas. To determine this Philips periodically surveys employees. It’s also important to make the overall program focused enough to make an impact in its key focus areas, but also flexible enough so that there is something for everyone.
Next, Philips makes sure to provide turn-key, low or no cost volunteer options to program champions at locations across the country. This makes it easy for company locations and employees to get involved.
Offering rewards, incentives and recognition to employee volunteers and program champions is another great way Philips keeps participants engaged.
Finally, getting executives in the company actively involved and supporting the program goes a long way towards getting everyone else excited.
Kudos to Philips 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.