2015 Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Humana

2015 Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist Humana

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"#Volunteerism..is a tangible way to impact the health and well-being of the communities we serve." Congrats @Humana! http://bit.ly/1Od7bQ8


On December 1, 2015, winners of the 2015 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards will be announced at the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit in Oakland, CA. In this series of posts, I’ll introduce you to people and ideas behind the ten most effective employee volunteer programs in our family of corporate clients, determined by performance against four benchmark measures in 2014. And if you haven’t yet, register today for the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 11:10am

What impact has your program had on your office or company as a whole?

Volunteerism embodies Humana’s purpose and values and is a tangible way to impact the health and well-being of the communities we serve. In 2014, our company set a goal to more than double our volunteer participation over the next three years, and as a result, new programs and practices were created to make volunteering easier and more vibrant.

For example, our Volunteer Time Off benefit (developed in 2014; launched 1/1/15) provides all associates the opportunity to take one day of paid time off to participate in volunteer activities that support health and well-being. We’ve also integrated volunteerism into our leadership development and team-building practices. We’ve learned that our associates are inspired by one another; therefore, we’ve invested significantly in sharing their volunteer stories internally – celebrating the impact to both community and personal well-being.

With the increased focus, and accompanying programs and resources, volunteerism has woven itself into Humana’s overall culture of well-being. The number of hours volunteered by Humana associates increased from 164,434 hours in 2013 to 176,197 hours in 2014, and the number of volunteers increased from 4,917 in 2013 to 6,346 in 2014. And through August of 2015 we’ve got nearly 11,000 associates volunteering and tracking their time in the Humana Volunteer Network – powered by VolunteerMatch!

What are some specific volunteer-related accomplishments that you’re especially proud of?

The increase in volunteerism at the company in 2014 was significant and we attribute it to several factors:

  • Leaders are embracing volunteerism as a meaningful way to team-build and are building it into their meeting practices. While Humana has a rich foundation of associates giving back to the community, we see more groups coming together today to provide an even greater level of impact in the community – with the side benefit of inspiring higher levels of collaboration within their work teams.
  • Our associates know that volunteerism helps the community and feels good, and they also understand that it is a platform to develop and refine professional skills. We’ve integrated volunteerism into our performance management practices so that associates and their leaders include volunteerism as a part of their development plans and discussions. Additionally, we’ve created resources and information about skills-based volunteerism, and have conducted a webcast for hundreds of associates on the subject Volunteerism as Professional Development.
  • Harness the Collective, Respect the Individual” is a guiding principle informed by internal and external research when creating a framework to increase volunteerism at our company. We recognize that there is significant power in aligning our associates to a common focus on well-being. At the same time, we appreciate that our associates’ passions vary and there are many ways to give back. One way we demonstrate this understanding is through the creation of market volunteer teams in our larger locations. We provide consultation and resources to these teams and enable them to choose the local opportunities most relevant and meaningful to their business needs and associates’ interests.

Do you have an inspiring or fun volunteer-related story you’d like to share?

Humana has a goal to improve the health of the communities we serve 20% by 2020. This includes our associates, and we are inspired by examples of volunteerism contributing to higher levels of well-being. For example, one of our associates experienced a 70-pound weight loss during her first two years as a volunteer at a Texas zoo. Many other associates report an increased sense of purpose connected to their volunteering. We’re enjoying the increased focus on volunteerism at the company and the impact that’s having in our communities; we’re equally enjoying the health and happiness that it creates for our 50,000 associates.

Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks, and announcement of the winners on December 1, 2015 during the 2015 VolunteerMatch Summit.