Partnership is a very important word to those that work in Corporate Citizenship. One of the key takeaways from The Employee Experience Summit hosted at Aon came to me courtesy of Amy Sulzman of Prudential. Amy and Kim Gillman from Taproot, offered a behind the curtain look at how Prudential expanded their employee volunteer programs. There was a lot to learn from their experience and what truly struck me was that the root of success was born in partnerships.
Question: When you read “partnership” did you immediately think of the vendor partnership or the NGO partnership, or the internal partnership? If you went to internal as your answer, ding, ding, you win!
While it is critical to have the right vendor and NGO partnerships for any Corporate Citizenship endeavor, you may want to start even closer to home, or more accurately, to work. The partnerships you form internally often hold the ultimate key for a successful Corporate Citizenship venture.
In her session, The Prudential Diaries, Amy offered tips for creating a successful partnership with Human Resources. Below is a slightly tweaked version you can apply to any internal partnership:
- Find the right Internal Business Partner. Ensure you are targeting the person who has a shared or complimentary goal. As an example, if you are trying to start a new program that has leadership development implications for participants, you would want to target the HR person in your company that is responsible for employee development.
- Prioritize exposure. Invite your potential partner to see the project first-hand.
- Establish shared goals. Find common ground and agree on metrics and desired outcomes in advance.
- Schedule a working session. Get in a room and explore what your partnership might look like in action. Assign responsibilities and next steps.
- Identify Executive Champions. Find a senior executive from each of your business units to make the case for partnership.
And to add to Amy’s great list, make sure to celebrate and share success.