Thursday, May 19, 2016
Jessica Stanford, Director, Employee Engagement
Over the last ten months, we have had some wonderful opportunities to showcase our Global Employee Engagement Report at several industry events, from the annual Points of Light conference in Houston to CECP’s global employee engagement roundtable event in NYC. In partnership with BCCCC and IAVE, we’ve also shared our report findings by webinar multiple times, including a Spanish language webinar – ¡qué bueno! We think it’s safe to say the challenges and best practices we’ve gathered are resonating with quite a broad audience, and have encouraged robust conversation across our field.
On this #tbt, we thought it would be a great time to revisit our initial blog post about the report and share some key findings and additional thoughts:
Our cultural differences do not restrict what is possible, but rather they provide us with opportunities! With the right amount of flexibility and communication, you can globalize any employee engagement program. In addition to cultural norms, be sure to leverage your on-the-ground resources to adapt programs to the work environment (for example, employees at a manufacturing site will be subject to different limitations than those in a standard office setting).
Corporate culture can trump local culture. Don’t be discouraged when you hear “we just don’t do that in this country.” In many cases, we saw that a strong corporate culture paved the way for new programming in some corporate offices globally.
Different countries have different levels of access to nonprofit data. While some countries offer centralized government databases of nonprofit organizations, others offer little to no visibility into the nonprofit landscape. However, there are often resources available to piece together this data (check out the report for details on the countries we focused on).
Skills-based and pro bono volunteering are growing trends in all five countries we researched. Though varying in sophistication, all the countries we researched are growing employee engagement opportunities in the areas of pro bono and/or skills-based volunteering. Of the five countries, South Africa and the UK currently have the most robust offerings in this area.
Communication is king. As a company grows its employee engagement programs, developing a strategic communications plan is very helpful. Consider how communications should be customized for employees, nonprofit partners and vendors.
Be aware of relevant legislation. This field is always evolving, so be sure to stay in front of legislation that may impact your philanthropic programs globally. For example, the India Companies Act, China Charity Law, or the UK Modern Slavery Act may be relevant for companies operating in those countries. Check with your local employees or colleagues in the field to ensure you’re up to speed before kicking off relevant programs.
Program parameters may need to adjust. Going global doesn’t necessarily mean your program guidelines will be replicated in every country, so think strategically about how program parameters (like donation minimums, match caps and volunteer match opportunities) may be impacted by outside factors and adjust accordingly.
For more information, check out our full Global Employee Engagement Report here. To learn more about how SVCF can help your company with employee engagement, or if you have an interest in hosting a presentation on the findings from this report, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.