As we all know, the stats on employee engagement are discouragingly low. We know these statistics because companies are doing a great job of surveying employees, asking them how engaged they are. Until recently, thats what people considered to be managing employee engagement.
Before working at Porpoise, I had no idea what a credit union was. I knew they were some sort of financial institution, but I didn’t realize what made them different from a traditional bank. It turns out the credit union model is all about people helping people. Credit unions are member-owned, with their members are also being members of the community. Therefore, credit unions put their members, and their community first.
To say they do a lot for the community would be an understatement. When we started working with our first credit union, I was surprised to see that their employee engagement, community involvement, and community investment programs rivalled the ones that are in place at some of the most forward thinking companies in the world.
Porpoise is built around what we call challenges. A challenge usually has a goal and a corresponding metric and end date associated with it. Challenges follow the SMART goal framework, meaning they are specific, measurable attainable, realistic, and time bound. For example, a volunteering challenge could have a goal of achieving 10 hours of volunteerism in a 3 month period. This makes it easier for people to understand what they are working toward, and how they can contribute. Just one of the many contributing factors to our user-experience.
As a local business owner, John Gonzales has always believed in giving back to the community. His company, Rehab1, has raised thousands of dollars for worthy causes in the Greater Moncton Area. They’re using Porpoise to capture this impact and celebrate the great things they do as a company each and every day!
"We have always been extremely proud of the workplace culture that we have built at Rehab1 - it's everything we have always dreamed of: a team of engaged and positive people that want to do great things in the community, that want to support each other's goals and dreams, and that share the same values as Rehab1. Porpoise has become our go-to workplace app that we use solely to motivate each other, support each other, and work towards a common goal of being better people for ourselves and our community!!" - John Gonzales, Founder, Rehab1
This is one of the most common challenges our clients face before working with us at Porpoise. HR and program managers often tell us that they aren’t seeing high enough participation rates within their volunteer initiatives. We have a few reasons why their programs might not be working, and we even have a solution!
I’ve been following Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff for quite some time. I’ve always been fascinated by his level of foresight and leadership. Benioff is an innovator in every sense of the word. When he founded Salesforce, selling software online was unheard of, as was selling software on a subscription basis. In other words, he completely disrupted the traditional software industry.
Consumer trust is lower than ever, and their expectations have never been higher. With no shortage of inauthentic cause marketing campaigns in circulation it can be difficult to cut through the noise. One of the best ways to gain consumer trust and loyalty is by sharing employee generated Corporate Responsibility content. Put it this way: it’s okay to brag about the great things your employees are doing in the community on behalf of your organization. Here’s why:
Companies measure just about everything. We use financial statements to measure financial performance, we measure turnover, we measure social media impressions, click through rates, attendance rates, customer retention and the list goes on. Why do we measure things? Usually we have a goal that we’ve set, and then measure actual performance against this goal.
We only set goals for things we care about, and therefore only measure what’s important to us.
So why don’t organizations measure their giving and other metrics associated with Corporate Social Responsibility? When you compare your giving metrics to your financial performance metrics it can yield some fantastic results. For instance, Unilever has discovered that their purpose oriented brands are growing 30% faster than their other brands.
Its been proven that the highest performing companies measure something beyond financial performance. Grant Thornton found that 70.5% of high growth companies have a clearly defined non-financial purpose.
So where do you start?
Start by discovering what your people care about. What are the shared values within your organization? What are the causes that the people within your organization want to support? Ideally you will take this information and develop a program that is flexible enough to support the causes your employees are already supporting in the community.
Next, set a goal. You can use the first year of measurement to determine a benchmark metric of what your organization is currently achieving. Then in year two and beyond, create goals that push these metrics to new heights. For example, in 2015 Clif Bar volunteered over 10,000 hours as a company, so in 2016, they created a company wide goal of 11,440. In 2014, Groupon set a goal of 10,000 hours, which they surpassed easily, volunteering a total of 14,335 hours!
Finally, measure performance. How many products or services have you donated? How many hours of your people’s time has been contributed? How many organizations have you supported? How many people were involved in the programs. Its really motivating, impressive, and inspiring to see the impact created by several small actions created by an organizations people. For example, in 2015, Salesforce achieved the milestone of 1 million volunteer hours. That’s the equivalent of volunteering 365 days per year, 24/7 for 114 years nonstop.
You may choose to offer incentives for employees who participate in these programs, or just allow the sense of purpose and act of giving to work its magic. Either way, if you care about the sustainability of your organization, and the impact you’re generating, it’s time to start measuring. Remember, a sense of purpose drives the people that drive your profits. With Porpoise, you can spend less time managing engagement and community programs, and more time accelerating and amplifying their impact. We’re on a journey to solve the world’s greatest challenges with our clients. Want to join us? Let’s chat.
After analyzing hundreds of programs, and implementing and managing programs for companies of all sizes, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to work with budgets of varying degrees. One of our greatest takeaways was that you don’t have to spend millions in order to implement a successful giving program. In fact, many of the companies we work with are able to increase engagement and impact with ZERO net-new expense. That’s right- lack of financial and human resources isn’t what is holding your program back- its how you allocate these resources that are at your disposal.
As your company grows, and your employee engagement programs begin to evolve and scale, there will come a time when your organization will require a platform to manage them. There are several things to consider when deciding which platform to adopt to manage your programs. Here are the top 5 features that we believe are essential to managing a world-class employee engagement and corporate social responsibility strategy.