Employee Engagement: The New CSR Currency Part 2

Employee Engagement: The New CSR Currency Part 2

Last week we talked about the Landscape of Employee Engagement as shared with us at a joint meeting held with the Southeastern Council of Foundations. This week, I would like to share a little of what we heard from one of the companies in the room.

One of the examples presented by Matt Pakula at Hillshire Brands highlighted a truly integrated approach to Philanthropy.  This approach brought financial, product, and volunteer support to a cause.

Historically Hillshire Brands’ employees had participated in skills-based programs, such as mentoring and their executives served on nonprofit boards. A decision was made to focus on building out pro bono initiatives.  Hillshire Brands believed that allowing employees to do what they do best would provide the best outcomes.

They strove for external focus and held the belief that Hillshire Brands fulfilled a larger purpose in society.
Hillshire Brands focused their community involvement on Hunger and sought to build deep relationships within their communities. They discovered that employees were eager to get involved and to show what they can do with their expertise.

Hillshire Brands built deep relationships with nonprofits and food banks. They also recognized that their employees had expertise that could be difficult to access in the nonprofit sector. They wanted to put our talent into action; they wanted to invest in their employees because they knew that by using employees’ expertise to solve challenges in a new environment, they would grow as leaders and become even more innovative. Innovation was important to their corporate culture, and pro bono created great opportunities to be innovative for the benefit of the community and their business.

So, with Taproot Foundation’s assistance, Hillshire Brands created a three-step program that included diagnostic sessions, project matching and project sessions.

The full cycle took nearly a year once additional front end coordination and back end communicating about the impact of our pro bono efforts was included.

Hillshire Brands found their pro bono initiatives were an opportunity to drive the culture and action they wanted on the job.

For more information on this, ACCP members can find the presentations here.

Mark Shamley
President & CEO