The Importance of Giving Back

November 13, 2020 Caoimhe Dunbar

Here at Workhuman®, the human experience is at the centre of everything we do, and we strive to create a sense of belonging for all. A large part of my role is collaborating with our events and engagement team, who work hard to make sure that, based on feedback and even in our remote world, we are planning meaningful events and activities. 

Currently we are planning for the busy holiday season and we found that it was helpful to look at the bigger picture, consider everything that is going on both internally and externally, and recognise the issues we are addressing. For example, the end of the year is a time to look back on all that has happened and be grateful for what and who we have in our lives. This year is no exception, and we want to ensure that we are creating moments or celebration for our team members as well as opportunities to give back and show our appreciation to the wider community during this time.  

To do this, we created three pillars that support and guide our events and engagement program: Culture, Connectivity, and Caring/Support. These ensure we are addressing each area our team members are passionate about and want to see more of in our workplace environment. Below, I have broken these pillars out and provided some examples of what activities we have planned.  

Culture 

This pillar is all about maintaining and enhancing our wonderful culture of celebration by creating moments that matter and moments of surprise and delight. We have heard, through employee feedback, that our people are missing the little things that we used to offer in the office, such as the exceptional employee experience we create, unexpected treats, surprises and the many (seriously there were a lot!) of celebrations we acknowledge.  

We have listened to this feedback and some of the upcoming activities we have planned are Thanksgiving celebrations, Ugly Jumper competitions, Paint and Prosecco Night, and more surprises that I won’t reveal just yet!  

 

 (Last year's Thanksgiving lunch and Turkey Trot) 

Connectivity

This brings me nicely to our second pillar. Our people have told us, loud and clear, that they miss the regular in-person socialising that we usually enjoy. The great sense of “togetherness” that we once had has changed in our virtual world and it is our job to make sure we are creating opportunities to bring us together. This is weaved into everything we do, but an example of how we brought people together most recently is through our Halloween celebrations. We hosted a Halloween murder mystery event and costume competitions, which certainly got the camaraderie on our employee Slack channels going! 

Looking toward the end of the year, we have our ongoing Winter Race Series, through which we are encouraging our team members to take part in all sorts of exercise – walking, running, cycling, an online exercise class, or even practicing self-care – all in support of a charity or worthwhile cause, suggested by one of our employee interest groups each month.  We also have our upcoming holiday celebrations, which will provide a lot of opportunities for connection and virtual socialising!  

(This year's virtual Halloween murder mystery event)

Caring/ Support

Last, but by no means least, we have the pillar of “Caring/ Support.” We have a caring culture rooted in respect, belonging, and gratitude. This pillar reminds us to think about the specific issues that team members are facing and how we can create a positive impact. 

We are considering issues such as physical and mental health and making sure that our wellness program provides opportunities for team members to look after both. We do this through webinars with professional speakers, weekly virtual classes, and employee-led interest groups.  

We think about the parents at Workhuman who are trying to balance it all. It’s important to support them and provide opportunities for family connection and celebration without overwhelming them. One thing that has worked well has been our close partnership with our Parents at Workhuman Employee Resource Group (ERG), with whom we meet regularly to discuss challenges and solutions. It was based on their feedback that instead of offering too much virtually for Halloween for our employees’ children, which can be more stressful for parents, we created our Halloween Scavenger Hunt. The supplies for this were posted so our employees could do it with their children in their own time. This gave parents the chance to have some Halloween fun on us, at a time and place that worked for them.  

Finally, we have Workhuman Gives, which is our employee-led CSR activities. We have seen time and time again that our employees love giving back; it is something that many are passionate about, and this provides a real sense of self-worth and achievement. We constantly consider how we can proactively give employees the opportunities to give back through interest groups or causes that are important to them. As I mentioned above, our Winter Race Series is a great example of this. We will also be offering a “Giving Tree” donation opportunity again this year and are organising our annual Christmas Raffle in aid of local charities in need. 

 

(Last year's Giving Tree)

This has been a difficult year that has brought many challenges. Events, traditions, and milestones that we have become accustomed to have changed indefinitely and that has the potential to feel all-consuming at times. It is so important for our team to consider each of our employees and ensure we are balancing our initiatives and events across the three pillars of culture, connection, and care.  Paying particular attention to this ensures we are supporting our team members with their individual concerns rather than overwhelming them. It is how we demonstrate recognising and giving thanks to our employees for all they do, our way of giving back to them. It is also fantastic to see our employees pay it forward by demonstrating that even in these challenging times they still have a passion to give back to their local communities. 

We are looking forward to continuing to create opportunities for our team members to get everyone involved, not only for the holiday season but for the new year also. Make sure to follow our @LifeatWorkhuman Instagram to see all the celebrations we have planned!  

About the Author

Caoimhe Dunbar

Caoimhe Dunbar is the employee programs manager at Workhuman.

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