Nathan Barber, Employee Experience Specialist based in Indeed Dublin, shares the history of our charity matching and volunteer program, GOODdeeds, and how he’s helped us build a strong culture of giving and doing.
I have an incredibly niche role #insideindeed. Out of roughly 10,000 employees worldwide, I am the only person who does what I do.
There is no set career path for an Employee Experience Specialist and when I left university 10+ years ago the role itself didn’t even exist.
What’s gotten me here? In some ways, the role itself is the sum of all my experiences and opportunities that I said yes to throughout my career! A little bit of customer service, event management, marketing, finance, internal communications, social media all tied together with some formal project management training.
I joined Indeed a little over five years ago. While I wear a number of different hats in my role as an Employee Experience Specialist, the best part of my job is I get to manage our global volunteering and giving program, GOODdeeds.
It is a truly global role which sees me working across all functions, countries and timezones on behalf of our employees and the charities that mean most to them.
We launched the GOODdeeds program in April 2015, and we were at around roughly 2000 employees then. Back in those early years the focus was on promoting the program internally, educating all stakeholders about how to use the tool, improving data collection and enticing people to come and use the program. The broad message was ‘Hey! Here’s GOODdeeds, come and try it out!’
My first tasks were to get logos and supporting materials created for the program. Next I met with all Office Managers and started training them to ensure all event details were being captured on the site.
We also began creating procedure documents for everything from how global international payments work, to localised cupcake sale policies. (I literally have a file called the GOODdeeds Cupcake Policy.)
Next we decided to tackle employee education engagement through desk drops, focus groups, creating an internal “How To Guide and FAQ,” linking the program with global internal events like Earth Week, Daffodil Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Movember and Winter holiday donation drives.
With increased engagement we needed to help employees tell their stories. We did this through rewarding the top 10 volunteers in 2017. Creating a community and culture of sharing through our internal sites like Huddle / In Office Screens / Slack. We also launched our charity donation option in lieu of receiving a physical holiday gift.
“We worked tirelessly to support local grassroots events and to enable new product features like Dollars for Doers (volunteering rewards), Benevity One World (allowing global giving), Friendraising (creating individual fundraisers), and combining budgets to give employees greater flexibility on how they use their GOODdeeds benefit.”
Fast forward to 2021, and the company has grown to 10,000+ employees. Our focus is heavily on strategic partnerships like our Employee Resource Groups and Brand Ambassadors.
We push hard for year round giving / education. We align with major events like Martin Luther King Day for a week of service, we promote causes like the Irish Heart Foundation on Valentine’s Day and drive employee support towards sustainability focused charities during Earth Week. We also focus on disaster relief in areas where we have an office presence.
“All employees are encouraged to run their own year round fundraising and giving events and we will happily support them.”
Check out the many other ways Indeedians have given back in the video below.
In 2020, we completely swapped out the physical holiday gift for a GOODdeeds voucher for all of our employees. It was such a tough year and these donations were an incredible gesture.
2020 Holiday Gift Feedback Quotes from Indeedians
“I was able to donate this to Rita’s Foundation in AZ, an amazing program helping to educate and support those who are living with HIV and it brought me to tears being able to send in my donation. I am so thankful for this company giving me the opportunity to give back to a cause that has helped so many, myself included. Thank you so much. ”
“This was another reason why Indeed is the best company to work for: we can feel connected and have a direct impact on the charities of our choice to help make the world a better place.”
“This was a wonderful initiative. This year has made me appreciate the small things. I have enough ‘stuff’ so giving to others, particularly during this time of immense stress in our own lives, felt really good. Thank you for making this happen.”
Seeing the outpouring of kindness, generosity and thanks from our employees is incredibly motivating. The big theme for 2020 was flexibility and choice. We piloted a program enhancement allowing employees to swap their birthday and anniversary gifts for donations and saw over $25,000 worth swapped over since launching in August.
We also partnered with our Global Events team to provide donations instead of swag. We’re even working on allowing our new hires to choose between onboarding swag or a donation. All of these small changes positively impact our employees, clients and our environmental impact as a business.
What does the future hold for GOODdeeds?
This is something that I think about often. “How do we bring greater purpose to the program?” We help so many different charities in so many different ways that it can be hard to quantify the impact and prove we have truly helped. The future of the program is in aligning with our mission, values and having a clear business justification for everything that we do.
This year we are redefining our OKRs and measures of success. Previously the focus was on participation and donations. We have achieved a very high level of employee engagement and grown our donations exponentially. Now the focus must switch towards volunteering.
There is significant value for employees, the business and society in increasing volunteerism. We have piloted virtual volunteering in a big way in 2020 with mixed results. The challenge is to find the right balance between virtual and in-person volunteering and where possible align with our mission of helping people get jobs.
I am incredibly proud of what the team and I have achieved over the past five years and so very thankful to all of our volunteers, donors, partners and champions for the GOODdeeds program. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, helping all of you do so much good all over the world, makes my job the best job in the world.