Conference Breakouts Provide Valuable Learning Opportunities
Outside the rich discussions emerging from the general sessions, conference attendees and speakers alike were sharing, learning, and inspiring each other in the day’s many breakout sessions. Following are highlights from just a few of the sessions:
“Engaging All Employees: A Guide to an Inclusive Portfolio” featured corporate citizenship pros who have mastered the art and science of employee engagement. Mark Heintz, director of corporate responsibility at Deckers Outdoor Corporation, Patty Pannkuk, vice president of team member philanthropy at Wells Fargo, Kate Rubin, vice president of social responsibility and president of UnitedHealth Foundation, and Nicole Stein, vice president of community responsibility at Umpqua Bank, spoke about what has worked for them to develop effective engagement efforts.
Heintz pointed to competition as a hugely successful driver for engagement. He told how Decker’s volunteerism program grew seven-fold once team-based competition was introduced. Jackson echoed Heintz’s conviction that competition bolsters engagement at Wells Fargo. Rubin spoke about how a study UnitedHealth conducted demonstrated that doing good is good for you, and, in effect good for UnitedHealth employees.
Key pieces of advice from the session included:
- From Umpqua’s Nicole Stein, “maintain a constant drumbeat through internal communications about your employee engagement efforts.”
- Jackson urged attendees to develop programs that gel with the company’s culture. “Cookie cutter programs don’t work,” she ended.