Ensono CEO, Jeff VonDeylen, discusses the history of extreme volunteerism in Staines and Caerphilly, along with the group volunteer opportunities in Downers Grove and Conway.
Q. Why is volunteerism important at Ensono?
A. In a way, it’s a reflection of our mission statement, which is to enable our clients to be great at what they do. Our volunteerism is about making a better experience for people in the community who may not be as fortunate as we are.
Volunteering puts you in a situation where you get a better sense of how things might be more difficult for others. I think it builds a sense of empathy, as well as an appreciation for what you have. Team collaboration is powerful and working together outside of the usual day-to-day can strengthen team bonds. We are always working together towards a common goal.
Q. Volunteerism has an interesting team-building history in Staines and Caerphilly. What’s that about?
A. Our Staines and Caerphilly offices in the U.K. truly live up to our values of passion and collaboration. They’ve done several extreme events—such as bicycle rides from London to Paris, or climbing the tallest peak in Scotland. They use these events as an opportunity to get a group of people together and raise money for causes. They create a lot of energy not only around giving back to the community and raising money for charity, but also building their camaraderie. That sense of team work follows them back into the workplace.
In fact, that was something we considered in the acquisition of Attenda. There were a number of key factors, like the complementary expertise and expanding our geographic footprint, but the number one criterion was: Do we have a set of people who have similar values? Associates who think about clients in a very passionate way, but also have a common purpose of making things better.
Q. What are some of the ways Ensono promotes volunteerism with associates?
A. We try to make it easy to volunteer. Each associate gets one paid day a year to volunteer for a worthy cause. And we also have relationships with several organizations in our local communities. We organize group volunteer days where a group of associates go out together to work with an organization like the Hesed House in Downers Grove, Illinois or The Salvation Army in Conway, Arkansas.
This year, we’re linking associates’ passion for causes to our Fitbit® competition. We have six teams representing everything from animal rescue to cancer research to veterans. Associates can join a team to earn charitable contributions for the cause they’re most passionate about. We’re keeping the spirit of healthy competition alive by trying to out-step the other teams for the sake of fundraising for our favorite charities, and getting exercise in the process. As of mid-March 2017, we have over 816,000 total steps accumulated globally amongst all participating associates!
Our associates are very giving people who also work hard, and we try to make it easy to participate and encourage that team collaboration.