When it comes to maximizing the impact of employee volunteer programs, a well thought-out branding and communications strategy can be your most powerful tool. Even when employees volunteer on their own, an effective communications campaign can make them feel connected to a company-wide effort, transforming all volunteer initiatives into a culture-building activity.
We recently developed a whitepaper that examines seven “success” principles for leveraging branding and communications to enhance the long-term success and impact of an employee volunteer program.
Seven Success Principles
1. Align CSR with the corporate brand. The most effective employee volunteerism brands align closely with the company’s mission, values and/or products. Make sure the objectives of your volunteer program support, directly or indirectly, with what the company stands for, believes in or does.
2. Research. Why do employees sign up for a corporate volunteer program? Ask them. Uncover what motivates employees to participate and use this to develop the key messaging and value proposition for your recruitment campaign.
3. Don’t use stock images. A picture is worth a thousand words – let employees see themselves and their colleagues in the program.
4. Plan ahead. Use this year’s program or activities as the building blocks for next year’s employee engagement campaign. Learn from successes and failures to make the next year better.
5. Keep it fresh. While the volunteer program has a brand that aligns closely with the corporate mission, the key messaging, or theme, for each communications campaign should change from year to year. Making each campaign unique will keep employees interested and engaged over time.
6. Develop shared goals for the program. And keep employees updated on progress to build a sense of teamwork and connect the volunteer activity to the corporate culture. Communicate progress through your website, impact or corporate citizenship reports, or email updates that layout specific metrics.
7. Embrace media. Leverage the broadest possible range of media to engage employees at multiple touch points, including website, email, intranet animation, and environmental branding. Phase communications over time to build momentum.
Read our whitepaper “Branding Employee Volunteerism: Building Culture and Community” for more details on leveraging branding and communications to enhance engagement in your employee volunteer programs.