An empowering employee program with No Boundaries webershandwick


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Last week I gave a webinar for the PRSA on driving employee engagement that was hosted by the Counselors Academy. We reviewed the 15 ways to establish a world class agency culture from my latest book, “What’s Your Green Goldfish.”

I shared the ingredients of a Green Goldfish and how these little signature extras for employees can reinforce culture. We discussed why:

  • Showing you care drives engagement.
  • Engagement is key to growth.
  • The ingredients of a “Green Goldfish” create a stable environment, build high-functioning teams and empower employees to do great things.

The fifteen ways to drive employee engagement are broken up into the three B’s:

Basics, Belonging and Building

green goldfish 15 ways to drive engagement

I shared a number of agency examples from the likes of Coyne PR, Weber Shandwick, Peppercom, The PR Freelancer, Allen & Gerritsen, PARTNER + simons and The Nerdery. One of examples of building during the presentation was Weber Shandwick Minneapolis. They were Green Goldfish #310 in the Project for a number of programs developed by their Employee Action Group (EAG). Each month the EAG sponsors fun events to celebrate successes and encourage teamwork. Previous events have included the annual “Shankwick” golf outing and their own version of “The Amazing Race,” appropriately renamed “The Shanmazing Race.”

One of the newer initiatives is the “No Boundaries” program. The program awards three employees each $1,000 and five days off to pursue a professional goal. Selections are made based on quality of the application essay, degree of professional enrichment and time of year requested for the journey.

weber shandwick no boundaries

Past program participants have:

  • swam with tiger sharks in the Bahamas
  • attended a writers conference
  • volunteered in a Nicaraguan health clinic
  • ran their first marathon
  • snapped a photo journey in South Dakota
  • took improv training lessons
  • embarked on a culinary tour of Tuscany
  • attended the Burning Man festival
  • traveled to Honduras to work for Soles4Souls

Participants in the program contribute to a blog so they can share their experiences with their colleagues.

Empowering Creativity

I love how “No Boundaries” gives a few agency folks each year the opportunity to pursue a passion. But why not push it further? The integrated marketing agency Fast Horse offers a similar program to all its employees. Fast Horse (#297) employees enjoy $500 a year  with a program called Muse It or Lose It. All employees are eligible for a stipend to help underwrite creative endeavors that spark creativity away from the office.

How are you driving employee engagement at your office? What’s Your Green Goldfish?

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Want some additional examples? Here’s a slideshare deck talking about the 15 ways to drive engagement and reinforce culture:

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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