A lot of companies throw money at corporate social responsibility. Berkshire Bank throws employees at it. Not literally, of course. The company’s CSR program is grounded in XTEAM, the volunteer program that has won first prize in the “Employee Volunteer Program” category of PR Daily’s 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.
The 10-year-old program is grassroots in nature. In each of the company’s key regions, Regional Volunteer Committees are established with 7–10 employees representing a range of departments and offices. Committee members are selected based on the passion they bring to their work and their volunteerism.
They go through an onboarding process, training members in how to use the system, follow the guidelines and plan events, along with other aspects of the program. Each committee sets measurable goals and is accountable for achieving results. Management keeps an eye on committee members; they have served as a resource for identifying talent in the organization.
The committees identify, select, plan and execute the volunteer programs in their regions, meeting bimonthly to do their work according to companywide practices. In 2017, the committees organized more than 300 events, with 92 percent of the workforce completing 65 projects across the company’s markets, affecting 400,000-plus individuals on their Xtraordinary Day of Service in 2017, a day in which the company closes its offices early to allow all employees the chance to volunteer. Tallying all XTEAM activities, literally every employee participated at some level, with 70 percent involved in two or more projects.
XTEAM participation also has beneficial results for committee members, elevating their engagement with the company; 80 percent say they are more likely to stay with Berkshire year over year. Survey results also show employees make new work connections through their participation, increasing teamwork and improving relationships with their managers.
The company’s reputation benefits, too; more than 250 positive articles have been published about the program and its events.
Congratulations to the team of Gary R. Levante, Lori Kiely and Lindsay Codwise.
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