NRG Gratitude Campaign: Thankful Thursdays
In 2014, NRG selected WeSpire to create and host an employee-engagement program branded InspireMEnrg.
NRG is a Fortune 200 energy leader, supporting a dynamic range of clean-energy resources, technologies, and low-carbon initiatives. For a current example, check out the innovative solar arrays that powered Levi’s Stadium for Super Bowl 50. NRG is deeply committed to helping people transition to clean sources of energy, and since they serve customers in all 50 states and DC, you may be aware of this impactful community work.
NRG sought a solution to expand these efforts via an aligned workforce. In 2014, NRG selected WeSpire to create and host an employee-engagement program branded InspireMEnrg.
NRG’s primary goal for using WeSpire’s behavior-change platform was to engage and educate employees on environmental sustainability. They quickly realized that InspireMEnrg could also be leveraged to support related positive-impact initiatives such as Health & Well-Being, Recognition—and, today’s focus, Gratitude.
Working with their WeSpire customer success manager, Lauren Goldberg, NRG Champion Katie Ryan created a Thankful Thursday campaign to educate and engage employees on the importance of being physically and emotionally healthy while encouraging employees to recognize and appreciate one other.
"Our company operates across multiple regions and with diverse business groups, so it can be hard to find common ground for 11,000 people. Gratitude is something that resonates across business groups, titles, and geographies."
The project consisted of two actions:
1) Share something you are grateful for
2) Give kudos: recognize a colleague
Weekly broadcasts and emails reminded users to share stories about what they were thankful for; and prompted them to share an inspiration from that day. Users clicked through these friendly communications to share, comment, post photos, and complete actions on InspireMEnrg.
The response exceeded expectations. “There were two reasons that this ended up being one of my favorite employee engagement projects of the year," Katie says. "First off, it feels good to be around gratitude. Working in a team environment means we’re constantly leaning on each other to create great work. This provides a lot of opportunity to say thank you for big and small things, though we don’t always voice it. The project gave coworkers an opportunity to share that thanks publicly, and speaking for myself, gratitude makes me feel good even when it doesn’t involve me! Secondly, the project had broad appeal. Our company operates across multiple regions and with diverse business groups, so it can be hard to find common ground for 11,000 people. Gratitude is something that resonates across business groups, titles, and geographies. With that in mind, I’d like to say thank you to my coworkers, who make NRG a great place to work; and for our partners at WeSpire who helped us create this project. Pass it on!”
The original campaign kicked off in conjunction with the Thanksgiving holiday, and managers were so pleased with the success that the project extended through the end of the year.
Notably, Thankful Thursday is driven completely by intrinsic motivation. Behavioral studies conclude that intrinsic motivation—in which behavior is inspired by internal benefits such as satisfaction, or happiness—is a key to employee engagement. One study found that extrinsic rewards [think: shiny prizes and gift cards] actually reduce intrinsic motivation by 36%. Robust programs that align with company mission and culture are essential to success. NRG’s campaign is the perfect example of exactly that.
As you can see, users truly enjoyed sharing:
NRG continues to find unique ways to leverage their platform and further drive engagement.
This month, join our Earth Day Challenges!
- Recycle cans, plastic containers & boxes at work
- Buy a plant to improve air quality in the office
- Suggest new ways to make your office more energy efficient
Our Earth Day projects provide our users with new and exciting actions to take centered around improving their environments at work, home & in their bellies!
Interested in running your own Earth Day Challenge? Contact us at email@example.com, we'd love to help!
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