Employee Engagement that Works: HP and Good360 Product Giving Program
By Tara Laskowski
After a beloved teacher at a local school district passed away, nearly 100 Hewlett Packard employees pooled their money together and donated nearly $40,000 worth of computer equipment to the school in the teacher’s name.
They were able to do this through an innovative program that their company implemented to drive social change and allow employees to give back to their schools/charities of choice. The HP Employee Product Giving Program, developed and managed by Good360, is one of the prime examples of custom programs that help all of our constituents—individuals, corporations and nonprofits.
It is well-known employees who have options to donate or volunteer are more engaged and more invested in their workplace. The Corporate Leadership Council has shown that 87 percent of highly engaged employees were less likely to leave their companies than their disengaged counterparts. And yet, some companies don’t have the resources or know-how to engage those employees effectively.
At Good360 we work with companies to make the business of giving simpler, more effective and more efficient. We not only want to encourage companies to do more social good, but we want them to benefit from doing so.
HP’s giving program is a major success story on all levels—and a great model for other corporations who may wish to implement such a program. Each quarter, the company devotes a portion of HP equipment from their small and medium business line for donation to nonprofits. Employees are then able to log on to the web site, choose a charity of choice, and select the items they wish to donate. Donations are facilitated through the HP Giving website, which is designed, hosted and managed by Good360.
How popular is the program? In the past several years, donations (averaging more than $5 million in value each year) have “sold out” in less than 48 hours after the giving program goes live. The program has distributed almost $40 million in donations since 2006.
“We have seen a tremendous interest and passion for this program by employees all over the country,” says Marlon Evans of HP. “It is great to know that our products are being distributed locally to organizations that our employees regularly work and interact with, and to reinforce HP’s commitment to our communities.”
Let’s look at why it works.
Since 2006, the HP Employee Product Giving Program has provided students and staff at Philomath School District in Oregon with significant technology tools that have positively impacted education. “Recently, our antiquated student computer lab was replaced with new HP computers and monitors, which allowed for software upgrades and enhanced instructional capacity,” said Superintendent Dan Forbess. “Over the years, the HP Employee Product Giving Program has provided technology tools for special education students, our broadcast media program, and vital student computer workstations throughout our district. We are very grateful and truly blessed by the employees who support this program.”
With a product giving program, employees can connect with their nonprofits and schools to ask them what products would be most helpful, and use their employer’s program to access those very items—making their gift both tangible and meaningful.
Engaging New Employees
Not only is the HP Employee Product Giving Program very popular with those who participate, but the number of new employees who contribute also continues to rise. Last year, more than 1,700 employees provided donations through the program. Each quarter, more than 40 percent of employee participants are first-time donors, demonstrating that the program continues to reach new employees that are being encouraged to get more involved in their communities and with their schools.
The Power of Choice
In a recent report by America’s Charities, one of the important aspects of a giving program that employees wanted was diversity. The HP program not only allows for giving across a wide range of causes and interests, but also gives employees the control to give to specific organizations and schools, making their impact even that much more personal.
Employees not only want a broader choice in how and where they give, but also when. They want to think charitably all year round, not just when the year-end hustle and bustle begins. By offering giving incentives each quarter, HP’s program allows employees to give when it’s most needed.
More than 65 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have employee matching gift programs—because they work. Not only do they provide an incentive for employees to give, but they also can enhance a corporation’s brand and sustainability programs. A win-win for everyone.
With the HP Employee Product Giving Program, employees contribute 25 percent of the cost of the donated technology and HP picks up the remaining 75 percent—allowing employees to really leverage their giving to see maximum impact. One key point of Good360’s mission is to leverage every dollar donated—we love to see the power of leveraged giving, and this program certainly showcases that.
Employee engagement programs should be custom to the company and meet the needs of the workforce and the communities they serve. With a little planning and listening, a company can really begin to understand what motivates its employees and how best to serve their desire to give back.
For more information about how Good360 helps companies engage employees and customers and give back to the community and environment through product giving, visit good360.org.
A slightly different version of this blog appeared on the Charities@Work blog hosted by America’s Charities.