The pressure is on to get your employee engagement numbers up.  You know you need to expand your current program beyond company-wide volunteer days and that your dollars for doers program really only engages a small subset of already-committed volunteers.  To really move the needle, it is vital that you find ways to inspire the legions of unengaged – particularly the Millennials – to WANT to get more involved on an ongoing basis. So, where do you start?  Simple. You start with using the valuable assets and investments you already have!  You bring your company’s established cause marketing and strategic philanthropy partnerships to life for your employees – at the local level.  Here’s how…

1) Capitalize on existing corporate partnerships to supercharge your employee engagement growth

Often times cause marketing partnerships, strategic philanthropy partnerships and employee volunteerism programs are handled by different corporate teams.  Working together to create integrated volunteerism programs is a smart investment that drives ROI in all departments.

Your company has already gone through a vetting process to select its strategic cause partners and has invested significantly in the partnerships.  These cause partnerships are valuable assets that you can use to supercharge your employee volunteerism growth.  They are long term corporate investments that build equity over time.

2TAKE ACTION: Look for ways to bring these partnerships to life in a meaningful way for your employees all year round. Make the cause palpable to your employees.  Get these causes into the DNA of all employees by creating a movement around them within your corporate culture by way of your volunteerism program. Make engagement easy, relevant, and fun.  Work with your cause partners to build in professional development or other strategic elements. Make it hyper local and personal for your staff so they can really feel the “halo-effect” of the partnership firsthand.

If you need some help with a strategic action plan, get some help.  Just be sure you create an effective way to invite your employees to be part of something larger – your company’s movement!  Empower them to build the momentum in neighborhoods around the country and around the globe. Measure the engagement and enjoy the results!

2) Share visual, emotional stories about your cause work, to inspire more people to take part in your chosen causes

Are your employees truly aware and feeling the great work your company is already doing with your cause partners? If you’re like some of our clients, then answer is a definitive no.  This case study shows you the challenges faced by a Fortune 100 healthcare company and how they solved them.

2TAKE ACTION: Use your valuable volunteerism “content” to create a series of ongoing communications that share compelling stories about volunteering with the company’s chosen causes.  Use powerful emotional images to show employees the impact their peers are already making – and the fun they are having!

Instead of leaving this valuable volunteerism content buried in a file, make it work for you!  Inspire more action by showing people the experience and positive benefits they could have if they chose to get involved.  You can even light the fire of “friendly competition” by setting regional goals and providing awards as incentives for increased participation with your company’s chosen causes.

3) Make it super easy for people to get involved with your company causes in their own neighborhood

This might sound obvious, but it is surprising how often it is not happening. You need to go ahead and connect the dots for people.  Make it simple for them to take action in their own neighborhood, otherwise they will just be content with admiring what other people do.  Make it about them and how they can be a part of a positive movement.

2TAKE ACTION:  Alongside your compelling volunteerism stories and powerful visuals, provide a specific, local call to action.  Make it easy for people to act on the emotion they are experiencing from the compelling stories and visuals.  Offer them specific opportunities in their local neighborhood and get them registered!

Make it as simple as one click for them to learn more and register for local events.  Be sure you are providing a user-friendly experience or you will certainly pay the opportunity cost by way of low engagement numbers.  Of course, in order to deliver this positive experience, you need a good strategy and system in place that is optimized for your particular corporate culture and takes into account the unique needs and opportunities of your cause partners. You must commit to setting up a system that will really work for you, your partners, and your employees.

4) Provide downloadable tools and resources to make it a great experience

Once you have someone interested in getting involved, shepherd them to success—and registration!  Make it obvious to them that this is going to be a great experience.  Be proactive. Help foster a positive experience. Do this and more of your employees will begin enjoying the benefits of long term employee engagement -and so will your company’s bottom line- as you meet your engagement goals.

2TAKE ACTION: Think ahead, like any great event planner would do.  Provide downloadable resources like checklists, FAQ’s, suggestions, maybe even some basic talking points to help your people feel at ease committing to volunteering as a company representative.  Showcase those supportive tools during the registration decision-making process to dispel any doubts and help close the deal!

At INPEx, we take it to the next level by helping our corporate clients create custom employee volunteerism programs with their cause partners that are specifically designed to engage key internal audiences, such as managers or Millennials.  By going the extra mile to offer volunteer opportunities that are tailored to the unique needs and opportunities of a specific group, you will enjoy much greater benefits – both in terms of employee engagement and strategic cause marketing.

In today’s market place, it is more vital than ever to increase visibility of and engagement with your cause partnerships.  Millennials demand it and consumers demand it.  There is real business value and opportunity cost at stake.  Integrating your corporate cause partnerships into your employee volunteerism program can pay many dividends if you do it right.  If you make the effort to put together a solid strategic plan that includes a system for measuring against ROI, you will set yourself up for success.  That’s how we have been able to deliver triple-digit results for our discerning clients —and so can you!

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