Growing Employees from Within: How to win in the war for talent

Savvy organizations know that investing in talent management is essential to a company’s future success. In the war for talent, a great amount of research shows that employee development programs are becoming an increasingly vital weapon to improve employee commitment, business performance and retention.

In a recent study conducted by assessment and development consultancy Cubiks, 93 percent of respondents said they would stay longer with an organization that invested in their development and 97 percent of respondents agreed it was important to develop people who could lead the company in the future.

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CSR Programs: Why some thrive and others nose-dive.

Your sustainability plan isn’t worth a beaver dam if your employees aren’t engaged in the strategy.

Just like the hard-working beaver, employee commitment makes a huge difference in the environment!

This year when Softchoice was named to Canada’s Green 30, I wondered if there was a common thread among the organizations recognized. After reading more about them, I found that their employees’ feedback not only put them on the list, but employee involvement is driving the success of their sustainability programs.

This isn’t surprising. As with many workplaces, engaged employees are the internal change agents, fueling innovation and success of many programs. According to GreenResearch’s 2012 Annual Sustainability Executive Survey, staff engagement is one of the top two sustainability trends for 2012 – simply because “engaged employees make things happen”. They are the “make-it-or-break-it” factor. [Read more…]

Power 2 the People

Many companies give back to their communities using the same approach: decisions are generally made by one team or department managing the company’s overall philanthropic activities. Very few involve employees in deciding where their efforts should be focused or even encourage them to get involved. According to an Imagine Canada survey, in 2009 only 18% of corporations encouraged employees to raise money and only 9% made matching grants for employee contributions.

Softchoice’s employees raise a ton of money each year, and the Softchoice Cares Board directs funds to different charities and technology-related causes. But with a company full of employees who are passionate about a wide range of causes, the board saw an opportunity to give them the chance to have a bigger say in where the funds should go. That was the ignition point for Softchoice’s new Power 2 the People campaign! [Read more…]

Greener Meetings

Working in a remote office I have seen the good and the bad of attending webinars.  The good parts being that of course it is much greener and easier to attend than having to drive and fly somewhere.  But sometimes it is hard to hear or be heard and our video isn’t always the best.  Overall I would say that the good outweighs the bad.  Obviously for a company of our size it doesn’t make sense to have everyone travel to 1 location. 

The Chicago conference room

 To take costs down one step further, as well as make our meetings even greener, we only give the meeting link and the phone numbers to managers instead of every employee.  This means we are using a lot less phone lines and computers to have everyone attend the meeting.  I actually prefer this way because everyone in their own offices gets together to view the meeting in Toronto on their projectors so its like we are all coming together for our own meetings.

Fostering a green culture

A big focus of Softchoice’s strategy is enabling our customers to green their IT infrastructure. At the same time, we recognize we must practice what we preach. When it comes to greening our operations, it’s about finding projects that address areas where we can make the biggest difference while also engaging our employees.
Whether it’s reducing energy consumption or eliminating waste generated by daily operations, we’re taking real steps to minimize our environmental impact. Our goal is to become North America’s IT supplier of choice for organizations looking to green their supply chain. [Read more…]

Internal Communications with SoftchoiceTV

One of the hardest challenges in getting everyone in your office to think more about being green is being able to communicate your ideas.  Of course, the bigger the company is the bigger the challenge is.  While emails and flyers can be overlooked on occasion we have decided to give a different route a try.  Softchoice TV, or SCTV for short has been around for a while communicating anything and everything to the Softchoice employees throughout various branch offices.  One of my goals this year is to always have a fresh message with tons of new ideas of how to green your desk at work or up coming events on the calendar like Bike to Work Week.  These slides, along with many others, run in a constant loop and are broadcast everyday out to every employee in the company.  So far the results have been great.  A lot of people have noticed the green tips and those that know I am on the GreenTeam have asked me about it and have said they would like to see more.  I will keep this blog updated with the new ways we send out our communications to Softchoice internally.

I would love more ideas on how companies are better engaging and communicating with their employees around green ideas and initiatives.