Holmes Report 14 Apr 2011 // 11:00PM GMT
In 2009, in the face of the economic recession and aftermath of its acquisition of competitor Rohm and Haas, Dow needed an exciting way to unite its employees and enhance its reputation. The solution? Sponsoring the 2010 Dow Live Earth Run for Water, a series of run/walks for clean water in 81 countries around the world. Not only did this sponsorship provide a platform to talk about Dow's technologies and commitments in sustainability, but also an opportunity to rally, inspire and involve employees.
Insidedge partnered with Dow to develop a seven-month, multifaceted employee engagement program. We set out to bolster employee pride - especially among the 18,000 newly-acquired Rohm and Haas employees - and drive support for the company's reputation-building sponsorship and sustainability programs.
Our goal was for at least 50 percent of Dow employees to have a favorable opinion of the sponsorship, to believe the sponsorship enhanced the company's reputation and feel that it increased their pride in Dow.
Ultimately, we surpassed these goals:
• 72 percent felt favorably about Dow's sponsorship of the event
• 70 percent believed the sponsorship enhanced the company's reputation
• 64 percent agreed the sponsorship increased pride, including 69 percent of heritage Rohm and Haas employees
The overarching objective of the Dow Live Earth Run for Water employee program was to engage and empower Dow people around the globe to participate in solving the water crisis, while building employee pride in and commitment to Dow. Specific goals included:
• Bolstering pride among 52,000 Dow employees including the 18,000 recently acquired Rohm and Haas employees
• Educating employees about Dow's commitments to sustainability, including the global need for clean, safe drinking water
• Maintaining employee interest in the sponsorship between the October 13, 2009 announcement and the April 18, 2010 event
• Using this opportunity to support integration efforts between Dow and recently acquired Rohm and Haas
The 52,000 employees of the Dow Chemical Company, including factory workers, chemists and those working at the corporate offices, at 247 sites in 37 countries around the world were the audience for this employee engagement program. This includes the 18,000 heritage Rohm and Haas employees that became Dow employees as result of the early 2009 acquisition.
Research from recent employee engagement programs related to sustainability at Dow allowed us to plan the Dow Live Earth Run for Water internal program to have broad appeal. We gathered feedback from Dow's Public Affairs teams at sites around the world to better understand the appetite for employee activities at the site-level as well as the support required to execute programs locally. Response from Public Affairs teams coupled with our analysis of metrics from previous programs showed us that we needed robust marketing and educational content at the corporate level, supported by hands-on employee involvement activities at the local level. We also learned that employees were particularly interested in seeing how their colleagues around the world got involved. Lastly, we recognized that busy Public Affairs teams needed turnkey programs they could implement easily with ideas, supporting materials and messaging provided at the corporate level.
To be successful, we needed to get everyone engaged and proud to be a part of the program. How do you do this for a company with 52,000 employees? Demonstrate that when it comes to solving the global water crisis, EveryBODY Counts.
We developed a creative seven-month program that included multimedia educational tactics at the corporate level and hands-on employee activities at the site level to engage and empower Dow people in solving the water crisis. And, to demonstrate that EveryBODY Counts, we offered something for everyone--athletic and environmental, team-building and individual, educational and fun activities to involve employees.
We developed an intranet micro-site to house the latest information, market local activities and celebrate employee participation around the world. We also created a Web-based toolkit with supporting materials to help Public Affairs teams around the world execute the program.
Given the ties to employee health and wellness, actvities were also developed to enable Health Services and Dow Public Affairs teams to collaborate and execute local events - the first-ever partnership of its kind between the two organizations of this scale.
EveryBODY Counts: This was the centerpiece of our programming and focused on Employee Challenges that enabled employees to compete in Run (athletic), Save (conservation) or Give (fundraising) activities. To support the EveryBODY Counts theme, we developed a series of programs:
• Every STEP Counts: A Virtual Running Coach Program that helped employees train and physically prepare for the 6km run/walks
• Every DONATION Counts: An online Fundraising Program that allowed employees to donate to water projects in communities around the world
• Every DROP Counts: A Water Conservation Idea-Sharing Program that enabled employees to share their water conservation ideas with colleagues
• Every VOICE Counts: A Global Water Crisis Awareness Program that encouraged employees to host presentations in their communities about the event and Dow’s ongoing sustainability commitments
This work culminated on April 18, 2010 with events at Dow sites around the world, often in conjunction with nearby official Dow Live Earth Run for Water events.
To support all programs, we provided ongoing communications through internal news stories, "Spotlight" features, an intranet micro-site, an online quiz and videos.
Evaluation of Success/Measurement
An internal survey of a representative sample of Dow’s global employee population conducted after the April 18 events showed that employees were favorable, supportive and proud of the Dow Live Earth Run for Water sponsorship.
• 83 percent strongly agree or agree it’s important for Dow to remain committed to its sustainability goals.
• 80 percent strongly agree or agree it’s important for Dow to invest in its reputation and promote its sustainability commitments through sponsorships.
• 72 percent are very favorable or favorable of Dow’s sponsorship.
• 70 percent strongly agree or agree Dow’s sponsorship enhanced its reputation.
• 64 percent strongly agree or agree Dow’s sponsorship of the event increased the pride they feel in working for Dow, including 69 percent of heritage Rohm and Haas employees.
Additionally, nearly two-thirds of Dow’s 52,000 employees had the opportunity to get involved locally in the Dow Live Earth Run for Water. 156 programs were executed at 98 sites globally, offering 62 percent of employees the opportunity for hands-on involvement in Dow Live Earth Run for Water events. This was an unprecedented level of coordinated site activity at the company.