Employee engagement and recruitment are two leading challenge for companies today as they compete to attract and retain millenials. Recently, I read an article by Ben Whittier which explored the changing role of human resources in business and the concept of “Workplace as an Experience”.
In short, it claims that HR has moved beyond it’s traditional role as a support function. In progressive and forward-thinking workplaces, “the employee experience, to a large extent, is the business.” These smart companies understand that keeping their employees happy and engaged translates directly to their success.
Tapping Into Employee Emotion
In the diagram above, the thing that caught my eye is the emotional elements of global citizenship and purposeful work. This is exactly what our new Journeys for Good™ corporate program is designed to provide.
When we were traveling to produce our television documentaries, we noticed that many of the voluntourists we traveled alongside were from leading companies like Google or Dell. Their companies already supported these types of trips, though more as individual pursuits as opposed to company-driven programs.
At the same time, we saw more and more in the news about the evolving workforce and changing priorities, especially with millennials and the generations that follow. We knew that if we could design a program that addresses both the emotional component of employee engagement and offers an opportunity to share the experience, we might just have something that Human Resource or Employee Experience departments would love. This is why we launched the Journeys for Good™ employee engagement program.
Why It Works
The old ideas of employee engagement, team-building and recruitment just don’t work with this generation of savvy young professionals. They are looking for new perspectives and authentic opportunities for self-growth. Short-term volunteer trips are an ideal way for them to explore new cultures and gain new insights.
Employees might be building wheelchairs for landmine victims in Cambodia or working with elephants in Thailand. They might be helping locals practice their English or improving the lives of single mothers. Whatever and wherever the service project may be, there is always a chance to work alongside local people and experience the local culture. Something indelible happens when you have the chance to share a meal, a smile, a laugh.
In exchange for their sweat equity, employees receive a life-changing experience and enrichment that lasts a lifetime. For companies, these trips are an investment in human capital that yields stronger teams and stronger individuals. Dividends include a happier and more engaged, therefore more productive workforce.
Another important aspect of the Journeys for Good™ employee engagement program is the ability to share the experience with high quality video storytelling. Webisodic clips document the experience from beginning to end and give employees a chance to reflect on the experience before, during and after the trip. This not only amplifies the experience for them but also gives the company powerful tools to use in their employee engagement, team-building and recruitment efforts. Everybody loves to share an inspiring and uplifting story, especially in image and video-centric channels like Facebook, You Tube and Instagram. The original video clips can also be valuable in external PR and marketing efforts, providing a powerful illustration of a company doing good and giving back.
As companies embrace employee experience as an essential component in their HR efforts, innovative programs that engage employees on this emotional level will be in high demand. Journeys for Good™ fosters company pride, community connection & personal growth, all while celebrating goodwill and global citizenry.