We organized a week of in-office and offsite service events. Here’s what we learned.
Earlier this week, we introduced you to Intuit’s Week of Service — a week dedicated to Intuit’s core value, “We Care & Give Back,” through community service, local outreach, and donation drives. And now that TSheets is part of the Intuit family, we’ve proudly joined the tradition — and learned a few things along the way.
Each Intuit site hosts their Week of Service over the summer, encouraging every employee, in-office or remote, to donate time, money, or resources to their community. Employees are given 32 hours of PTO, strictly for volunteering, and Intuit matches every employee donation to qualifying nonprofits, up to $5,000 per person.
This year, TSheets was the last site on the calendar, and the pressure was on to not only make this year’s Week of Service a success but to prove ourselves worthy of this grand finale slot. No small feat, considering none of us had ever organized a 300-member weeklong service project, in partnership with a dozen community organizations. But what good is a goal that doesn’t make you squirm?
Here at TSheets, where we require excellence of ourselves and your teammates, there’s no such thing as giving up. So it was with enthusiasm and hope that our We Care and Give Back (WCGB) team set out to plan a week to remember. And we’re pleased to report, our fellow TSheeters stepped up in a big way.
It takes a village … a volunteer village
Even knowing our Week of Service wouldn’t take place until September, planning for the event started in February, when our WCGB leaders began looking into timelines and reaching out to community nonprofits for giving and volunteering opportunities.
In an effort to inspire everyone’s philanthropic passion, LeAnn Boobar, TSheets’ employee engagement coordinator, asked all employees to write down what causes matter to them the most. Then, once the WCGB team was set up, anyone who felt moved to lead the charge for their particular nonprofit was invited to become a program leader.
“Allowing our team to work on the causes they’re most passionate about brought so many different opportunities for our team to rally around,” says Cindy Atkins, TSheets’ executive administrator and site engagement ambassador. Thus, our Week of Service catered to a diverse array of interests — from helping children and animals to raising money and resources for refugees and the homeless.
One week of service for a lifetime of giving back
If there’s one thing we learned as our Week of Service came to fruition, it’s that this opportunity to get involved was just the beginning. Being able to support so many different nonprofits opened our eyes to how we could power prosperity in our community for years to come.
Events fell into four basic categories: volunteer onsite, volunteer offsite, donation drives, and pay-to-play. In order to host volunteer events onsite, the largest TSheets conference room was repurposed into Volunteer Village — our meeting place for group projects like Beads of Courage, Project Linus, and assembling laundry kits for our local United Way.
Offsite volunteer events were generally hosted at the nonprofit’s location, such as winterizing the Ruth Melichar Bird Center and organizing materials for Giraffe Laugh. One opportunity, in particular, struck the heartstrings of our dog-loving TSheeters: the Idaho Humane Society volunteer event. In between weeding and winterizing the facility, three TSheets employees went above and beyond the call of duty, arriving empty-handed and leaving with four-legged best friends.
Employees who didn’t have time to volunteer had the opportunity to participate through in-kind giving. In this case, hygiene kits for homeless youth, pet food for dogs and cats, and gently used clothing. These went to United Way, the Idaho Humane Society, and the Idaho Youth Ranch, respectively.
Finally, employees were offered the chance to learn a skill or take part in a fun group activity through one of our many pay-to-participate events. To join, employees needed only make a $10 minimum donation to the organizer’s charity of choice. In exchange, everyone had a blast practicing yoga (for Make-A-Wish Idaho), learning self-defense (for the Women’s and Children’s Alliance), and even eating unlimited stacks of TSheets pancakes (for United Way).
Lessons learned, and looking forward
Jesse Fusselman, Salesforce admin and chair of the TSheets WCGB committee, has climbed a steep learning curve. He and Cindy led the charge for our inaugural Week of Service and have plenty to say when it comes to what went well and what could be improved over the years to come.
“One of the lessons I’ve learned,” Jesse says, “is that creating a firm schedule with lots of lead time for individuals and departments to react empowers everyone to get involved more easily.”
For Cindy, the week was an embodiment of our company culture, where people weren’t afraid to reach out and get others involved. “I live by this quote,” she says. “‘Many hands make light work.’ And throughout this whole week, that’s what I kept saying. If someone heard we needed one more person to help, they brought us five, and it continued on from there.”
Beyond that, they’re looking forward to getting everyone’s perspective on how they think the Week of Service went. “I’m looking for feedback from everybody,” says Jesse, “including individual employees who have volunteered or donated, program leaders who’ve organized events, managers who’ve adjusted schedules to accommodate volunteers from their team, and leadership and senior leadership who had their own expectations going into the week. That’s where I’m going to learn the majority of what went well, and the majority of what we can do better next year.”
Currently, we’re still tallying numbers to see just how much of an impact our TSheets volunteers had on our community, but we’re looking forward to sharing an infographic and more photos from the week soon! Until then, we’re reflecting on the best moments of the journey, and looking forward to planning next year’s Week of Service.