60 Second Interview: Tesoro on Incentive Programs for Social Responsibility
We sat down with Tracey Tafoya, the Manager of Shared Value & Community Affairs at Tesoro, to share their incentive programs, and how incentive programs have led to successes in getting Tesoro employees more engaged. Check out what Tracey had to say:
Please briefly outline the programs offered to Tesoro employees.
Through Tesoro’s Workplace Giving & Volunteerism programs, we offer unique opportunities for our employees to get directly involved in making a difference in the communities where we live and work. We have a Matching Gifts Program through which the Tesoro Foundation matches qualifying employee donations to eligible non-profits and higher education schools. We also have a volunteer awards program we call Dollars for Doers where individual and groups of employees can earn grants for a qualifying organization of their choice by amassing volunteer service hours.
Why did you decide to include incentives in your programs?
At Tesoro, employees are encouraged to approach their everyday work with Shared Value in mind. Shared Value is a deliberate way of doing business that involves considering and working with key stakeholders and is a proactive approach to working together for mutual benefit. Engaging and incentivizing our employees is an important part of our community investments strategy and a significant generator of Shared Value. These programs are effective tools in helping to harness and continue to support our employees’ strong spirit of giving.
How and when do you communicate or publicize your incentive programs?
We try to promote awareness and drive utilization of our programs throughout the year. This includes an annual two-week campaign called the Give Back Challenge that layers in additional incentives and some friendly competition among employees. We also host a Week of Caring where we coordinate and make available large-scale volunteer events. It’s an easy way for employees to get involved, but it’s also a safe and convenient way for someone to volunteer with a new organization or gain new experiences.
Employee communications channels typically include articles published on our intranet and delivered in a weekly email digest, additional targeted emails, video monitor displays in our buildings, posters and fact sheets, and cascading messages through senior leaders, local volunteer leads and employee group networks.
What method of communication did employees most respond to?
We have had success cascading messages through company leaders, employee groups and local volunteer leads. We’ve found that receiving a personalized note or request from a relevant leader or through a network that you’ve opted into cuts through some of the noise that comes with mass communication channels.
How often are these incentives “paid-out”?
Originally, our Matching Gift and Dollars for Doers programs were on a quarterly payout schedule. After receiving feedback from employees and conducting some benchmarking research, we have chosen to transition this summer to a monthly payout schedule. Our findings indicate that getting employee funds to their charity of choice faster is viewed as significantly valuable and may lead to increased program engagement.
What advice would you give others thinking about starting an incentive program?
Begin by administering a survey to find out about your employees’ interests and passions. Make sure you understand the nuances of the results, such as differences by location, and use that information in tandem with your company’s broader community investment strategy, if you have one. Be sure to consider the culture and the behaviors you’d like to encourage and drive. When creating your communications plan, be creative and see if you can use some of your existing events and activities to promote your incentive programs. Continue to listen to employees and network with other companies regularly for new ideas on shaping and enhancing your communication, events and programs.
Learn more about Social Responsibility at Tesoro.