One of the most important take-aways from ERE Expo did not have to do with recruiting. It had to do with Corporate Philanthropy, Responsibility, and Volunteer Commitment.
As the host of Compassionate HR
, my role is to feature amazingly generous people doing incredible things. Nothing thrills me more when I hear about a Company engaging in an empathic volunteer project in their community.
I'm a flag waver for this cause. I am absolutely convinced that employee engagement begins with helping people feel apart of something larger than themselves, encouraging a sense of belonging to something meaningful and important that is not necessarily work-related. When employees are engaged in team volunteer project they are developing team building, communication, and leadership skills. The projects can work wonders in building employee brand loyalty. This is bound to have a positive impact on retention and recruitment efforts. When a company can boast their steward leadership, it builds good will in the community, and with candidates.
The United Way is a great organization that helps social services agencies in the community. I applaud their efforts. However, when employees are pressured to give through payroll deductions it can be demotivating in some cases. I assert it is better to get people to do something that doesn't impact their pocket book. A project that engages their minds, and hearts is good for team spirit, an furthermore, they can see tangible results when the project is complete. Anything that makes a person feel good inside is valuable. It's life enhancing, and empowering.
I used to be a corporate trainer who lead workshops on leadership, team building, conflict resolution, and communication. Recently, a light bulb lit up in my mind. All of these topics can be facilitated through a corporate volunteer project. I decided to launch a radio program that would feature these amazing people in our industry. I started doing research to find these people and companies who were going above and beyond the call of duty to demonstrate steward leadership.
For example, the team from Oracle built a library at a school in India, they developed an educ... Meg Bear,Vivian Wong
and Amy Wilson
spear headed the endeavor. These programs were instituted by employees, it was not a corporate imperative, however, Oracle supported them by provided them with resources, time off of work, and employee recognition and rewards when the projects were completed. It turned into a self-directed work team that accomplished great things for the global community. I was so inspired by their work, I had them as my first guest on Compassionate HR. I've been producing bi-weekly shows that feature extraordinary people in our industry that are engaged in their community, and world-wide.
At the ERE Expo several presenters discussed their global philanthropic efforts. They validated the point I am making. The charismatic presenter, Kat Drum shared what Starbucks is doing around the globe, as did talent acquisition guru Jeremy Eskenazi of Riviera Advisors. Corporate community efforts, and volunteerism is not just good PR, it's good for recruiting efforts, HR employee recognition and retention programs. Think about how much organizations spend on employee satisfaction surveys, employee recognition programs. Think about how much stress is created when evaluating the cost of hire and retention. Just think about how compassion in action can benefit everyone.
My point is this: employee engagement is enhanced by providing a truly meaningful experience. Gerry Crispin said to me during the conference, "World Class Recruiters are not just people who are good at what they do, they are the ones doing great things in their communities."