State Farm’s annual Neighborhood Assist program is a Facebook app that crowdsources the insurance company’s corporate philanthropy. Through individual votes for neighborhoods across North America, State Farm’s social community helps determine which 40 areas receive a $25,000 neighborhood-improvement grant.
After accepting over 3,000 online submissions, the State Farm Youth Advisory Board narrows the pool to 200 finalists, then opens up the voting process to determine which causes get grants.
We’re excited to feature State Farm’s 2014 program via our interview with Kellie Clapper, State Farm Enterprise Philanthropy AVP.
AM: What’s different about this year’s Neighborhood Assist?
KC: We are looking forward to another successful year of Neighborhood Assist. To kick off the program this year, we created short videos, profiling some of last year’s inspirational winners. One shows Kelsy Laird, a volunteer who helped disabled kids experience waterskiing for the first time. Another shows Matt LaLonde who brought his community together with home improvement and gardening tools at no cost. These videos showcased just some of the many great organizations and thousands of worthy people State Farm has touched through Neighborhood Assist. We hope they inspire other organizations to submit their causes as well.
We’re pleased to share our newest guide sponsored by Quantum Workplace, Engaging Millennial Employees: Recruit and Retain Top Talent with Cause. Here’s an excerpt:
Generation Y has been imbued with a sense of responsibility. Millennials feel responsible for themselves, their neighbors (both virtual and physical), their communities, and their planet. They grew up learning the importance of recycling and using less water, and that their actions directly affect their communities. In return, they believe that companies—their employers—have a responsibility to them, their society, and the world.
Although they acknowledge the bottom line, they also believe that companies need to give back some of what they’ve earned to contribute to the greater good. They see smart ways for companies to do this, too, such as transparency in reporting, sustainable business practices, and using company products and services for good. According to Jay Gilbert in the Ivey Business Journal, the single biggest threat to Millennial employee retention is a company’s reputation. Why is this so important?
Frequently cited as flaky and narcissistic, Millennial employees actually have multiple positive traits that can act as a boon to your brand. When leveraged correctly, the generation’s affinity with cause and tech savvy directly relate to your company’s recruitment and retention strategies.
We're pleased to share our new eGuide, Engaging Millennial Employees, that explores these techniques and provides you with the tools to recruit and retain top talent.
Here are two ways to win with Millennial employees:
1) Loyalty to Responsible Brands
The reputation of your brand is of utmost importance. A study on Millennials and the workplace found that when a company’s reputation suffers, so does employee morale.
In fact, it found that “employer reputation is the most frequent engagement threat.” A reputable brand, however, gives employees bragging rights and increases loyalty. If you want employees to be your ardent supporters, keep up the charitable work.
Recruitment Strategy: Think Like Tory Burch
As the fashion company interviewed potential employees, they realized a funny thing: Interviewees were drawn to the company’s cause work.
“[Our philanthropic work] is attracting amazing talent. When we interview people, one of the first things they bring up is the [Tory Burch] Foundation. They bring it up. We don’t. And that’s really exciting.” – Tory Burch
Try it! Incorporate charity into your company’s hiring posts. Note what giving opportunities exist and why.
This post originally appeared on Armchair Advocates.
Salesforce/Rypple recently put out an infographic that speaks to the causes of disengagement of workers and motivators of engaged employees. As it turns out, Millennials being unhappy at a job due to lack of engagement, a desire for meaningful work, and feelings of under appreciation is just not that generationally significant.
Most workers will cite the importance of recognition as the single highest factor in whether or not they feel engaged at work.
Here are three ways to recognize your employees:
- Publicly commend. Actively seeking accolades looks like fishing for compliments. Don’t leave your employees wondering how they did on a project – publicly show support for their stellar performance by announcing key milestones at staff events or via an internal memo.
The following is a post from our new expert guest blogger series. A version of this post originally appeared on Edelman’s goodpurpose blog.
By Hope Freedman | @HOPEfreedman
As members of the United Nations General Assembly descended on midtown Manhattan last week for the sixty-eighth session, hundreds of worldly “do-gooders” convened uptown at the renowned 92Y for the fourth annual Social Good Summit.
The overarching theme for this year’s Social Good Summit – synthesized as the rally cry #2030NOW — focused on how the actions we take now regarding social issues will have an impact in the coming decades.
True to expectation, the first day of the Summit was filled with passion, optimism and buoyancy that “new media” can help big ideas translate into innovative, sustainable solutions.
The following is a post from our new expert guest blogger series. A version of this post originally appeared on Chart Your Course.
By Gregory P. Smith | @chartcourse
The youngest generation in today’s workforce, Millennials or Generation Y, has brought new challenges to companies. These 20 and 30-somethings are the largest generation in human history and will comprise 40 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
They are driven, task-oriented, social and technologically savvy. They are also impatient, entitled and quick to change employers if they don’t feel they are advancing their careers sufficiently.
Seventy percent of Millennials leave a new job before the first two years, a turnover rate twice as high as other generations, according to Experience.com.
If businesses want to attract and retain this enormous pool of talent, they have to start tailoring their workplace to meet their needs and capture their loyalty.
It’s not surprising that Millennials like beer. Everyone likes beer. Okay, maybe not everyone, but many, many people enjoy a cold brew. Through their core business values, profit model, and internal organization, one company is drawing Millennials left and right: New Belgium Brewery.
Through a series of “happy accidents” Katie Wallace found herself at New Belgium. The employee-owned business embodies happiness itself. I had a chance to chat with Wallace about her work, and why the company operates the way it does. All quotations are from Ms. Wallace.
Started in co-founder Kim Jordan’s basement, the Brewery has always been a values-driven company. Not surprisingly, that attracts a certain type of employee: Explains Wallace, “We have a director of fun.”
Being human. Jordan’s background in social work and marketing has brought a human touch to a business that is all about people. For starters, she insisted on New Belgium being employee-owned, with an open-book management policy.
“Honoring our humanness – we’re not machines – unlocks this amazing power in the business, making us more profitable and successful in the long run.”
Soon-to-be college graduates Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez learned how gourmet mushrooms could be grown out of recycled coffee grounds. The idea – intriguing if nothing else – made them think: Should they forgo stable careers in the banking world for innovative entrepreneurship in the…mushroom world?
As you might have guessed, the answer is yes.
If you can believe it, initial interest from Whole Foods and Chez Panisse, along with a grant from their university, gave them the courage to create Back to the Roots—turning Arora and Velez into “full time urban mushroom farmers”.
Their mission is simple: To make food personal again through the passionate development of tools that educate and inspire, one family at a time.
As are their values: Hustle. Passion. Family. Universal Happiness.
As you may know, this week—April 21-27—is Volunteer Week, which is a great reason to engage your employees for good. For example, I’m coordinating a team volunteer outing to help one of our nonprofit customers.
Having a corporate volunteering program is a boon to recruiting top Millennial talent. My generation looks fondly upon employers that support employees’ connection to cause. Show appreciation for your passionate employee volunteers (and increase brand loyalty!) with charity rewards. Not only will you incent positive behavior, but volunteers will feel good about paying it forward.
By Kate Olsen
Are there still people in your company who don’t understand the value of employee involvement programs?
Employee engagement is multi-dimensional and in addition to competitive benefits, mentorship, state of the art facilities etc., cause programs are hallmarks of the best workplaces. Here are the data points you need to make the business case for creating a holistic employee engagement strategy that includes community impact.