Bayer MaterialScience launches Employee Engagement Academy

Reprinted with permission from Bayer MaterialScience Open Network

Employee Engagement Academy brings new opportunities for development


The Pittsburgh Promise team: Mira Ivanova, Chantelle DeLozier, Emily Litzenberger, Jeanine DeBor (ESC Project Manager) and Lauren Bachorski and Julia Shepard.

Community volunteerism can be a rewarding experience for many individuals, but for companies like Bayer MaterialScience, the benefits run deeper. Research shows that employees who feel more connected to their region want to stay in the region. Bayer MaterialScience is helping to bridge that connection through its newly launched Employee Engagement Academy, which aims to provide employees with internal and external engagement opportunities.

“Retaining our talent is a top priority, and providing opportunities where our talent can engage together within our company walls , and outside in the greater community , is one way to provide those important connections to keep talent here,” said Rebecca Lucore, Chief of Staff at Bayer MaterialScience LLC and creator of the Employee Engagement Academy .

But this isn’t your standard soup-ladling volunteer job. This Academy initiative challenges employees to lend their talent and competencies, in addition to their time.

“This is a skills-based volunteer opportunity, in which employees are paired with nonprofits based on their skill sets and the nonprofit’s needs,” explained Lucore.

The program was designed in partnership with the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University, which provides consulting, education and research to help build stronger nonprofits. Lucore has served on the Advisory Board for 12 years, and was eager to leverage the Bayer Center’s expertise in developing the Employee Engagement Academy program.

The first Academy initiative kicked off last December with a cohort of approximately 35 employees, many of whom are new to the company or early in their careers. A half-day workshop provided them with the training needed to prepare for a consultant role in the nonprofit sector, where they can apply their skills in a new and different way. This first-of-its-kind development opportunity is just one of several components that the Academy has to offer.

Academy participants provide nonprofits with support and expertise in areas ranging from financial management and marketing to communications and procurement. With 16 company-paid volunteer hours to use, creativity and time management are key to delivering results over a three-month period. At the end of three months, participants will present their projects to senior management and the North American Leadership Team.

The first cohort is helping to pilot the program in Pittsburgh, but Lucore hopes to bring the opportunity to other sites and reach more experienced employees as well. Stay tuned for further updates on the Employee Engagement Academy.

Multi-location news January 28, 2014
Author: Alice Sox