Happy Giving Tuesday!
The team at Objective Paradigm has ‘joined the movement’ and you should too!
Dayna Stoller, HR Generalist at OP, updates us on OP’s culture of giving back.
OP News: OP marked 17 years in business this past October and celebrated with an in-office drive for coats, toys, and turkeys – how did you plan and communicate this initiative to employees?
Dayna: We wanted to celebrate this milestone with our employees and also give back to the community. We hosted an in-office birthday celebration complete with a pajama party, cake, popcorn, and an R-rated movie (since we were finally old enough to watch). Entry into OP’s NC-17 birthday bash was a donated coat, toy, or cash for the 17 turkeys we wanted to donate for Thanksgiving.
It is very important when planning something like this, that it is communicated to employees in multiple, different ways. I hung flyers around the office, sent emails, and also reviewed the details at OP’s monthly, in-person ‘All Hands Meeting.’
It was also important to have the leadership team’s buy-in and help in promoting. Employees felt much more comfortable in their slippers and PJ’s when they saw our CEO in his robe!
OP News: That’s awesome. So, what were the results?
Dayna: We collected 25 coats supporting One Warm Coat, tons of toys for Toys for Tots and the La Rabida toy drive, and raised enough money to buy 17 turkeys for Bethlehem Church’s Thanksgiving dinner. Over 500 adults and children were served at the dinner and OP was grateful to be a part of it.
Dayna: OP’s founder, Ryan Pollock, cofounded T4Youth in 2014 and it has been ‘the thing’ to be involved in at OP since.
T4Youth is a Tech Table Tennis Tournament that supports Chicago Tech Academy and includes many Chicago tech companies as teams and sponsors.
The money raised supports the school’s project based learning model, where student’s academic knowledge is combined with 21st century skills. We are proud to create awareness and assist with our time and dollars for things like coding classes or month long internships at Chicago businesses as a senior.
OP News: How are OP employees helping out with T4Youth?
Dayna: OPer’s get involved in every aspect of the event planning process from mentoring some of the students, to organizing a team and playing in the tournament, and even helping with the raffle!
Our team, ‘Objective: Pong,’ tied for 5th place this year and are already practicing to take the trophy home in 2017!
OP News: That’s great Dayna! Any tips for other organizations as they plan and promote philanthropic initiatives at their company?
Dayna: My top 3 ways to engage employees in giving back are:
- Provide multiple avenues. I think Objective Paradigm found success in our birthday party / giving back event because there were multiple ways to get involved. Whether it was going through a closet to find coats or bringing in cash or toys, most employees participated in one way and felt a sense of community and company pride in doing so!
- Get your leadership team involved. I’ve found that employees are way more inclined to participate and gain value from the entire experience when their bosses are enthusiastic about the idea.
- You can never remind people too many times. Sometimes you may feel annoying telling people over and over again about an event or an initiative the company is doing, but the reality is, they don’t hear you until the 3rd or 4th time, so don’t be shy!
With many non-profits to choose from and employees ready to contribute there’s no excuse for not having a giving back initiative at your company. Check out OP’s culture archive for more ideas on building a team of givers.
Thanks for chatting with us, Dayna!
Dayna Stoller, HR Generalist at OP, and Sister Candy, Bethlehem Church – Chicago, take a break from prepping to smile for the camera!