In The Loop

Welcome to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority's Blog

Entries for month: December 2017

LCSWMA’s ExtraGive Campaign Featured in Lancaster Chamber’s Thriving Magazine

December 18, 2017 ·

Published in the Fall/Winter Edition of Thriving Magazine

STRENGTHENING ENGAGEMENT FROM THE OUTSIDE IN: COMMUNITY OUTREACH HELPS COMPANIES CONNECT WITH EMPLOYEES

By Alison Van Harskamp
Director, Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Armstrong Flooring

An engaged workforce. A stronger community. Both can fuel successful businesses — and luckily, they can go hand in hand.

Companies recognize that highly engaged employees have a positive impact on workplace morale, employee retention and the bottom line.

Ranking high on the list of effective ways to keep employees engaged over the long term is a company’s involvement in community giving. This makes sense, because for many of us there’s no greater feeling than knowing you’re making a difference where you live and work. Fortunately, Lancaster County has a bounty of philanthropic events that can help companies to connect with the community and, at the same time, their employees.

One event that seems to captivate the county each November is the Extraordinary Give (“the ExtraGive”), Lancaster’s largest day of individual giving, raising more than $20 million since 2012. “We have a tremendous amount of philanthropic energy in our community,” said Tracy Cutler, executive vice president, Lancaster County Community Foundation, which organizes and presents the event. “And there are several companies who are using that energy as a catalyst to engage and support their employees as they desire to make a difference in the community.”

For companies like Rhoads Energy, the ExtraGive is an opportunity to celebrate a long tradition of community involvement. “We’re celebrating our 100th anniversary this year, so our involvement in events like the Extraordinary Give helps to reinforce a core value that’s existed from the time Jerome Rhoads founded our company in 1917, which is giving back to our community,” said Jennifer Goldbach, Rhoads Energy vice president of business development.

The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) uses the ExtraGive to help reinforce shared values. “At LCSWMA, we want our employees to be ‘Safe, Well and Happy’,” explained Kathryn Sandoe, LCSWMA Chief Communications Officer. “Part of being ‘Happy’ is giving individuals an opportunity to practice gratitude in their functional role and in their personal life. This event provides a wonderful occasion to accomplish that aim.”

It also provides an opportunity for employees to take the lead in supporting a culture of community involvement. LCSWMA runs an employee-powered campaign that includes peer influencers (“ExtraGive Champions”) at each of its four sites to gain buy-in, plan and promote activities and create buzz.

Likewise, an employee-run committee at Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) drives the company’s participation in the ExtraGive and is responsible for a creative internal campaign to raise awareness. “Our employees put a lot of effort into our campaign, and it’s helped by the fact that Extraordinary Give is already a successful, well-known event on its own,” said Amanda Hershey, ACT Marketing Specialist. “We get to hitch an employee engagement effort to a wagon that already has a lot of momentum.”

Friendly competition between co-workers adds to the fun and heightens the ExtraGive’s campaign buzz. ACT sponsors a dollar-for-dollar match for the first $4,000 raised by its employees. “Since it’s a 24-hour event, people are actually waking up in the middle of the night to be one of the first to make a donation,” said Hershey.

LCSWMA’s campaign committee also organizes competitive challenges and prize incentives to create excitement and build momentum for the ExtraGive. “One of the most rewarding thing is that our employees feel so engaged in the process,” said Sandoe. “They come up with the ideas, the activities, the prizes. It feels like their campaign, because it really is!”

In addition to giving their treasure, employees are also eager to give their time to making Lancaster’s largest day of fundraising a success. On the day of the ExtraGive, Rhoads Energy employees are present at each stop of the “Givingmobile” and also host a Happy Hour of giving, complete with several community giving stations, at the Federal Taphouse in downtown Lancaster.

Meanwhile, dedicated team members from Atomic Design are busy in the weeks and days leading up to the ExtraGive, brainstorming, designing, constructing and installing the eye-catching sets and staging for the ExtraGive’s big celebrations at the Lancaster Marriott. “Most of the projects we work on are out of this area, so many employees don’t get to actually see the fruits of their labor,” said Atomic Design Chief Operating Officer Lydia Henry. “In addition to the fundraising aspect, volunteering our time to the Extraordinary Give appealed to us because it gives our employees an opportunity to showcase their incredible talents locally and celebrate what they do as professionals with their families and friends.”

Companies that participate in this and other well-known philanthropic events often get questions like “Are we doing the ExtraGive again this year?” or positive comments on employee engagement surveys. There’s plenty of anecdotal feedback to convince all of the companies interviewed that their involvement helps create happier, more engaged employees.

LCSWMA’s Sandoe said, “It’s fun, it’s meaningful and it’s a really great way for our employees to help make Lancaster a wonderful place to live, work and recreate. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

To read the entire issue, click here.

Tags: Community Events · Faces of LCSWMA · In The News

Christmas Tree Recycling

December 14, 2017 ·

Did you know you can recycle real Christmas trees to create beautiful things for the rest of the year? Some townships turn your tree into mulch for community parks! Click here to find a tree recycling location near you.

Tags: Recycling