Published On: March 4, 2016Categories: Program Ideas

Author: Jewell Willet

Change is great, but let’s be honest — launching a new employee engagement program with giving and volunteering can be just as daunting as it can be exciting. Introducing new programs for your employees is a great way to keep interest and grow engagement – but what is the best approach for bringing them to life and making them successful? Here are 5 tips that can give your new program a little bit of a strategy and support for your implementation process.

5 tips for Launching a CSR Program

1 – Timing

As the saying goes, timing is everything. As you begin your planning and approach, take a look at the calendar and make sure you coordinate a launch date that is cohesive with your company culture. By checking the calendar you will find opportunities to fill in empty time frames with something exciting or to piggyback off of other successful events. For example:

Do you have a culture full of parents and guardians? Volunteer programs at your company might see success if launched in the summer when employees have more time to give outside of work and might be looking for ways to engage their families that are out of school.
The last months of the year are a great time to launch giving related programs, as donors are more likely to be compelled to give during the holidays and before tax season.
Launching new features? Try the beginning of the New Year (or your fiscal year) when employees are looking for a clean slate.

2 – The Build Up Approach

This is all about communication. Make sure you have a plan to over-communicate your program through a series of emails, marketing materials, and word-of-mouth communication. It is key to make sure that you never put your employees in a position where they can say, ‘I didn’t know’. We recommend that you pick a series of dates in the weeks leading up to launch and announce your program with different voices. Different voices inspire different people so this is the perfect time to have your Executives and Program Champions spread the word.

3 – Team Work

Think about the things you will need to implement your plan: marketing, training, communications, and make sure any needs lead you to recruit a cross-functional team. Are you a team of one? Recruit Program Champions that bring the necessary talents to your group, and lean on them to support your program in the field. No matter what size your team is, your collaboration efforts will determine your program’s success; so plan thoughtful meetings (and plenty of them) to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

4 – Engage

If you want to make your program have lasting value, think of clear ways to involve your employees so that your program compels them to participate. Here are some ideas for successful engagement:

  • Clearly define your program objectives, target audience, and message so that you understand which employees to engage.
  • Seek out employees that already embody the mission of your program and use their stories in your marketing collateral.
  • Launch an internal social media campaign and make participation in the launch go viral.
  • Attach meaning to their participation. Communicate how their participation will impact the company, the non-profit organization, or even your community as a whole.
  • Create easy ways for your employees to seek help. Consider precise how-to guides that are easy to access, and make sure employees know where to go to get help.

5 – Incentivize

If you have clearly communicated the impact of your program but feel you need a little bit of a boost, it could be helpful to promote incentives for participation. Consider tangible incentives when you are planning your program budget, and do some research to find out what your employees see as valuable. For example:

  • Is your company like a family? Think about the energy you could get if you coordinated a live-stream launch party lead by your CEO.
  • Offer our Cause Card Incentives to the first 100 visitors to the program on launch day.
  • Hold raffles for the hottest tech toys to those who participate during a specific time frame.
  • Provide ‘Happy Hour’ treats or drinks at the end of each week to employees that have participated during that particular week.

About Jewell Willett

Jewell is a Senior Account Manager at YourCause. She came to YourCause with over 10 years of experience with non-profit organizations where she specialized in program planning, fundraising, marketing, and communications on a global scale. Here at YourCause she is passionate about program planning, product development, internal training, and exceptional customer service. In her off time, Jewell can be found out and about in the city with her family, having a great time and trying new experiences.

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