Nutrien is setting the bar high with its innovative approach to workplace campaigns and corporate philanthropy. This year, they collaborated with the Social Impact Lab to create a team-building adventure that is both educational and engaging.

After navigating virtual and hybrid campaigns necessitated by the pandemic, the aim was to find new ways to re-engage their staff through in-person interactions. Recognizing the unique challenges posed, Nutrien highlighted the significance of infusing its annual workplace campaign with fresh and compelling elements.

A New Approach to Workplace Campaigns

In 2022, Nutrien unveiled a novel approach to their campaign: a friendly competition that pitted the company’s departments against each other. They divided the organization into four teams, setting the stage for friendly inter-departmental rivalries and a collective pursuit of points based on participation. This unique strategy proved so successful that it became a cornerstone of their 2023 campaign, igniting enthusiasm and elevating the engagement quotient to new heights. As they aimed to sustain this remarkable momentum and further deepen their understanding of United Way’s community impact, Nutrien enlisted the help of the Social Impact Lab.

The Birth of the “Amazing Race”: Where Competition Meets Compassion

Through a series of brainstorming sessions and the desire to blend competition with a meaningful learning experience, the idea of an “Amazing Race” style event took shape. The result? It’s not your average corporate event.

The race featured 15 stations where teams embarked on a mission to complete tasks, earn stamps in their passports, and accumulate points for their teams. Each station explored different facets of the United Way of Calgary’s work, from crucial initiatives to impactful community projects. However, its profound purpose is what truly sets the “Amazing Race” apart. It’s not about raising funds; it is about allowing participants to see firsthand how their contributions can make a meaningful difference in the community.

Enlightening Participants and Reinforcing Philanthropy

The primary objective of the event was to provide participants with a unique platform for learning and awareness. Through a well-thought-out gamification strategy that encouraged involvement, the event transformed into an educational experience. The focus was to enlighten individuals about the pivotal role of the United Way in the community, making it more likely for them to consider future contributions. It transformed the abstract concept of philanthropy into a tangible, real-world experience, leaving an impression and reinforcing the importance of their support.

The event’s success can be measured by the unprecedented levels of engagement it achieved. Notably, senior leaders in the organization embraced this event, wholeheartedly participating and demonstrating the same energy and enthusiasm as their peers at all company levels. This level of participation created a vibrant atmosphere, fostering camaraderie across the company.

Lessons for Success: Navigating Employee Engagement

The collaboration between Nutrien and the Social Impact Lab is a remarkable case study for organizations striving to enhance their campaigns and boost employee engagement. Its outstanding success offers valuable insights into creating unforgettable corporate initiatives.

Nutrien’s planning team provides some words of wisdom for those seeking guidance:

Lead from the Top
Engagement initiatives need the endorsement of senior leadership. When leadership champions the cause, it motivates the broader workforce to participate.

Tailor to Your Culture
Understanding your organization’s culture is vital. Nutrien capitalized on its culture of competition and fun, creating an event that resonated with their employees. Each company’s culture is unique; find the element that can drive engagement and use it in your campaign.

Diversify Engagement
Offer several ways for employees to participate, regardless of their abilities or skill sets. The “Amazing Race” showcased the importance of multiple activities that cater to different preferences and talents.

Collaborate and Innovate
Partner with organizations that specialize in innovative engagement activities. The collaboration with The Social Impact Lab allowed Nutrien to think beyond traditional approaches.

Nutrien is a shining example of how innovation and creativity can be harnessed to enhance corporate philanthropy efforts. By engaging top leadership, fostering a sense of competition, and offering diverse participation options, Nutrien has breathed new life into its workplace campaign. This event strengthens their commitment to the community and inspires other organizations seeking to make a difference. It is a reminder that community involvement and workplace engagement go hand in hand.

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