Yorkshire Water Case Study

When Yorkshire Water contacted Thrive in early 2017, its Corporate Responsibility function was a victim of its own success! Anne Reed, CSR Lead at Yorkshire Water, managed an active employee volunteering program alongside other CR programs including an extensive education program and resources were stretched.

As an inclusive employer, and the monopoly wholesale water services provider across Yorkshire in North East England, Yorkshire Water has clear commitments to both its employees and the community it services. An efficient and effective CR function is therefore core to the business.

Anne’s experience told her that, despite seeing volunteer activity from across the business, there was potential to increase awareness and participation. She also knew that if she could reduce her management & reporting admin burden she could focus more on CR strategy and delivery – where she could add most value to the business.

Employee supported volunteering is part of the company ethos here at Yorkshire Water, but promoting and tracking the many requests was cumbersome. Whilst it was important to collect impact data, time was of limited supply and so we were unable to achieve the quality, and quantity of feedback that I really wanted.

Meeting Expectations

Thrive’s Product Delivery Team worked closely with Anne to configure its Employee Volunteering Module to meet Yorkshire Water’s requirements:

  • A Volunteering Portal through which Anne was able to effectively promote the many 100s of volunteering opportunities she’d worked hard to develop with local and national charities, schools and community groups
  • Self-service sign-ups by employees, meaning Anne no longer had to act as volunteering ‘broker’ to ensure opportunities were filled and staff were engaged
  • Automatic tracking of participation and volunteering hours, enabling real-time reporting alongside the ability to extract diversity & inclusion data to support the wider business.

Within a few months of going live with the Thrive platform, Yorkshire Water had 100s of employee volunteers automatically signing up and completing volunteering opportunities, with their participation automatically tracked and reporting on – just what Anne needed to allow her to get on with her CR program development and delivery.

With the introduction of the portal, we now have a streamlined process in place. All the opportunities are in one location, old events are automatically removed from view and colleagues are able to sign up independently. Automatic notifications come through to me, and after the events have finished, evaluation forms are sent out collecting vital feedback. This has saved time from an admin perspective and created a better experience for our colleagues

Exceeding Expectations

Thrive deployed its automatic Feedback System for Anne’s Employee Volunteering Module. The Feedback System has been honed by Thrive over several years to maximise the collection of feedback from Volunteers and Community Groups.

After a volunteering event, the system automatically follows up via email and/or text message, prompting the participant to fill in a short survey which can be tailored to the customers own requirements.

Responses include a mixture of statistics e.g. how many people benefitted, stories, and photos of the activity – really bringing alive your community activity and you to start to understand your social value. The system can achieve up to a 70% response rate.

As a result of the Feedback System deployment for Yorkshire Water, Anne started automatically receiving 100s of feedback responses straight into her dashboard with NO effort from her, uncovering information on Yorkshire Water’s community impact that was never before available. Anne uses the feedback to both report successes within the organisation but also shape future volunteering activities, by carefully listening to worked and didn’t work with each volunteering opportunity.

Due to the questions we ask on sign up, we are now able to run reports which will provide an overview of hours donated against each salary band level. Calculations which would have taken weeks to compile can now be done in a couple of hours. The feedback we receive from colleagues is immediate and allows me to share positive stories and identify any issues of concern without significant delay.

Platform Growth

Given our successful partnership on Yorkshire Water’s Employee Volunteering program, Anne looked to Thrive to see where else the platform could be utilised to maximise efficiencies in her program delivery. Thrive went on to configure its Applications Module to enable Anne to streamline the entire management of her Education program; from initial applications from schools and community groups for support, to automatically gathering valuable feedback from teachers.