Philips Electronics North America Corp. launched its Philips Cares program, which encourages employees to volunteer in their communities, in September 2011, but it really took off in 2012. On the one-year anniversary of the program’s launch, the company started up a six-week information campaign to get employees excited about volunteering.
The goal was to inspire 1,500 employees at a minimum of 20 locations to take part. In the end, 2,072 employees at 25 locations volunteered. Because of that success and the multiple creative ways Philips achieved it, the company is the winner of PR Daily’s 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Award for Best Employee Volunteer Program.
Before the Philips team started communicating about the program, it did its research. Not only did it review its own program and website visits, it also looked at how competitors handled their volunteer programs. The team reached out to executives and HR managers to get their support. And it made sure local volunteering organizers were behind it, too.
What the Philips team learned from other companies was that giving employees an incentive to participate in volunteering certainly helps get them going. So the company offered Good Cards from Network for Good—gift cards for charities—and points in the company’s internal recognition program, which can be redeemed for prizes. An eight-week Champions Challenge tested the knowledge of local volunteering leaders and got them to start new initiatives. Leaders who participated could also win recognition points.
Communicators developed an online toolkit for participants, built online tutorials, enlisted the company chairman as spokesman, and developed an interactive map.
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