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Corporate volunteering breeds engaged employees

Amanda Towe of Johnson and Johnson explains to HCTV how they use corporate volunteering to engage employees.

Video transcript below:

Amanda Towe, HR Director, Johnson and Johnson Medical
Amanda Towe:
 So a lot of our employee engagement activities are driven to volunteering efforts, corporate social responsibility and so for us it’s a dual benefit, our employees get a great sense of satisfaction through those activities, but there is a real and obvious benefit to the community in what we deliver to them.

Reporter:  There are many different ways that companies try to drive employee engagement.  But at Johnson & Johnson employee engagement is closely linked to community benefits, as Amanda Towe explains.

Amanda Towe:  We have a credo in Johnson and Johnson, it’s a document that outlines our responsibilities as an organisation and there is a certain hierarchy to the responsibilities.  It starts with our first responsibility being towards our patients and customers, the mothers and fathers that use our products.  The second responsibility is to our employees, the third responsibility is to our community and finally our last responsibility is towards our shareholders and other stake holders.  So for us we place equal emphasis on reaching out to those stake holders and delivering benefits and one of them as I mentioned already is to the community.  

Reporter:  As part of a group of companies committed to corporate volunteering, Johnson and Johnson are actively engaged in understanding the benefits of [such] activities.

Amanda Towe:  We are currently in a strategic partnership with Macquarie Graduate School of Management and together we have established a council of other organisations, like minded organisations who want to advance the frequency in participation of employees in corporate volunteering.  So we have partnered along those lines.  We have conducted together research across 4,000 employees in Australia to really understand, “is there is a relationship between corporate volunteering and employee engagement, what are the benefits and what are the barriers?”  And the overwhelming feedback from that research study has been, “yes there is a very high correlation between corporate volunteering efforts and employee engagement”.

Reporter:  One example of their corporate volunteering work is their upcoming Bridge to Employment Scheme.
Amanda Towe:  Another example of one of our employee engagement activities that are linked to the community and the benefit to the community is a program that we’ve just launched this year, called Bridge to Employment.  And it’s a collaboration between the medical part of Johnson and Johnson, our pharmaceutical company, Janssen, Macquarie Business School again and a number of other not for profit organisations and the idea is that we provide direct mentoring and career coaching support for students in our local high school in the final years of, I think it’s year 10, 11 and 12 of their schooling.  And we are really proud of that, because it again is a great opportunity for employee involvement.  We have more than 50 of our senior leaders in our company who will act as mentors for the students at this local high school and it’s a long term commitment that will go, well it starts this year for a first year, but the intention is for us to roll that through the final three years of schooling for these students.

Reporter:  Finally Towe’s advice to companies looking to do something similar is to lead from the top.

Amanda Towe:  So if I can give anyone advice on how to link corporate social responsibility and employee engagement, it is about leadership from the top. There is financial commitment required as well and I guess above all it’s a belief in the fact that it’s the right thing to do.  People love to be involved, people love to help others and again I am sure we will see the impact of this on our own internal employee engagement scores.