Since we’ve written a number of articles related to the London Olympics in this year’s editions of SCM, and since the ‘Games  Makers’ were such a major part of the success of the Olympics), I’ve been prompted to think about employee engagement from a ‘voluntary’ perspective. I have a very good friend who worked with the Olympics Committee, supporting their efforts to harness the collective power of the thousands of volunteers who gave up their own time to help visitors from around the world make the most of the Olympics experience.


Whether you’re in London, New York, Sydney or Singapore, engagement from that angle (i.e. with no financial incentive for participants) can be a big challenge for HR and communicators – but one we need to overcome to get people involved in CSR initiatives the world over. So I wanted to hark back to Melcrum’s study on that very topic and offer some simple, step-by-step thinking on building a basic strategy map for engagement around such initiatives.


Step 1 – Define CR engagement

Begin with your high-end, 30,000-foot vision statement in the organization.


Step 2 – Clarify goals

What does your answer to Step 1 actually mean? Which broad areas would you like to see this vision manifest itself in? Out of all the potential goals of CR engagement, you can’t aim for all of them at once. Look at the company strategy, the CR strategy and the current priorities for the business. What are the three to five factors that you are going to zero in on as you roll out the engagement program? Which, out of all the ideals, is most important right now? This is where you should be directing your resources and energy. Your three to five factors will impact other areas as well – but this process is about limiting your perspective, not limiting your impact.


Step 3 – Qualify outcomes

In Step 2 you articulated the broad areas of focus. Now, for each one, describe an actual activity that will typify the “engagement” you would like to see. If, for example, one of your goals is “implement a supplier ethics program,” you might put here “purchasing managers consistently evaluate suppliers according to the company’s ethics guidelines.” This is the stage where, were an employee to look at your map, they would clearly understand what action they should undertake in the future to deliver optimal results.


Step 4 – Determine drivers

You may already have undertaken driver analysis in your organization. Whether by survey, focus group or simply through desk research and experience, outline here the critical input factors that will most affect the outcomes you have articulated in Stages 2 and 3 – the people, processes, environments and resources that you need to leverage to achieve your goals. Once again, this should not be a laundry list – outline the key levers that will deliver the best results for you, in your organization.


Step 5 – Measure

You now have your outcomes (Step 3) and your drivers (Step 4). Now is the point at which you study to what extent the one is positively affecting the other. Outline here the tools you will use to do this. Crucially, though, you now need to turn the outcome from Step 3 into key metrics you are looking to achieve. (For example, if in Step 3 you wrote “purchasing managers consistently evaluate suppliers according to the company’s ethics guidelines,” your measure might be to attach some evidence to this, e.g., “purchasing managers will record whether the supplier has complied with the company’s ethical guidelines.”)


Step 6 – Act

With a clearly outlined set of objectives and data to outline the levels of success in achieving them, you can now begin to act on the findings and re-measure ad infinitum.


I hope this provides useful food-for-thought, and that the strategy process map template here is useful. And hurray that the volunteers of the 2012 Olympics played such a big role in making it a huge success!

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