Get to Know Humana, Finalist for 2016 Employee Volunteer Program of the Year

Aug 23, 2016 5:10 PM ET

In this Q&A series, get to know the finalists for VolunteerMatch’s 2016 Employee Volunteer Program of the Year Award. Winners will be revealed on October 25, 2016 at VM Summit 16Get your VM Summit 16 ticket today. Today’s featured volunteer program: Humana.

What makes your volunteer program so successful?

We follow three guiding principles when it comes to our volunteerism strategy at Humana:

  1. Make it easy – We know Humana associates have busy lives, both inside and outside work. For that reason, we listen to their needs and wants and have developed processes to make it as easy as possible to find and participate in meaningful volunteer experiences. We offer paid Volunteer Time Off to ensure everyone has the time to make a difference in their communities, and we have great incentives like opportunities to earn nonprofit grants for tracking your volunteer time.
  2. Share and celebrate – At Humana, we consider this work to be a social movement. Simple experiences move people, so we prioritize the time and energy to create forums that let associates share their passions for their community. Regular stories about Humana volunteers are published on our intranet news blog, and every day, dozens of associates share pictures from their volunteer experiences on our internal social media platform. They inspire one another to give back.
  3. Harness the collective; respect the individual – We know that Humana associates all have unique passions that drive their own sense of purpose, so we have resources and incentives in place that encourage them to pursue those unique passions through volunteerism. We also recognize the incredible collective power that 50,000+ associates have to make a difference, so we encourage teams that volunteer together to find experiences that directly connect with Humana’s Bold Goal to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve.

What is the most unique aspect of your volunteer program?

At Humana, we have a dream of helping people achieve lifelong well-being. Our holistic view of well-being goes beyond just physical health – it’s multi-dimensional and is about living happily with a balanced sense of purpose, belonging, security, and health. Our associates understand how volunteerism helps us achieve that sense of purpose and contributes to their own and their communities’ well-being. They recognize that it gives us a tangible way to connect to and be inspired by Humana’s Bold Goal – to improve the health of the communities we serve 20% by 2020 because we make it easy for people to achieve their best health. This makes our volunteerism strategy go beyond simply a program – it’s an integral part of our well-being movement and our company’s strategic purpose.

What recent accomplishments make you proud?

At the beginning of 2014, Humana decided to grow our enterprise volunteerism strategy. Our CEO set an aspirational goal to more than double the percentage of associates who volunteer in their communities by 2017. This strategic and intentional focus supports the purpose of individuals – of our associates – and also the purpose of the communities we serve. At that time, a little over 13% of Humana associates were already volunteering and tracking their volunteer time. We’re proud to say we not only achieved our goal, we surpassed it, 2 years early! At the end of 2015, nearly 39% of our associates were tracking volunteer time. We’re excited to pursue our new goal to achieve 50% associate volunteerism participation by 2017.

We also recently achieved 1 million volunteer hours tracked in our VolunteerMatch platform, and are incredibly inspired by the generous nature of our associates who achieved this milestone.

What advice do you have for others managing an employee volunteer program?

Take time out to reflect on the positive impact your volunteerism strategy is making on the well-being of your employees and the communities they serve. It’s sometimes easy to get caught up in metrics and reporting and processes and resources. Make listening to your employees and the stories they have about the meaningful work they’re doing in their communities a priority. Find a way to share those stories with the rest of the company – hearing about others’ experiences inspires people to consider how they too can get involved.

Anything else you’d like to share?

In addition to the positive impact that volunteerism makes on our communities, Humana recognizes how it also contributes to our associates’ sense of purpose and well-being, including their professional development. Humana is developing tools and resources to make it easy for volunteers to give their unique talents to further the missions of our strategic community partners through skills-based volunteerism.

A favorite example is a cross-functional team of associates who are sharing their time and talent with Up2Us Sports, an organization dedicated to transforming the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable youth by hiring and training coaches who can inspire their success on and off the field. Skilled Humana volunteers are helping to advance this mission by conducting statistical data analysis and developing and implementing a comprehensive marketing strategy. This is just one of many examples of ways Humana volunteers are sharing their high level of expertise to achieve our Bold Goal to improve community health.

Will Humana win VolunteerMatch’s Employee Volunteer Program of the Year Award? Find out at VM Summit 16 – get your ticket today.