#XTEAMnation: Berkshire Bank
With retail banking locations throughout the Northeast and offices throughout the country, Berkshire Bank launched XTEAM (its employee volunteering program) in 2008 to help employees get involved and give back to the community through a series of group service projects to more than 500 nonprofit partners.
Since its inception, it has grown into a major component of Berkshire Bank’s overall business strategy and is central to its corporate culture. Employees receive paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours at projects selected by local employees.
This locally-focused approach allows for local decision-making, empowering employees to identify, select, plan and execute projects within the context of the bank’s overall strategy and maximizing engagement. The goals and objectives of XTEAM are highly aligned with the company’s business strategy and social impact with a focus on a creating shared value.
Group services projects in 2017 accounted for more than 300 activities nationwide. On Xtraordinary Day, a traditional corporate volunteer day on steroids, the entire company closes early to give all employees the opportunity to volunteer together as a team. In 2017, 92% of the workforce completed 65 projects across the country directly benefiting more than 400,000 individuals.
Although the corporate community engagement staff control the overall strategy, its regional employee volunteer committees ultimately ensure its success. Employee committees are located in each of the company’s major geographic markets and are comprised of 7-10 employees representing various offices and departments within a particular geographic area.
Employees are strategically identified that have a passion for service, show strong leadership potential and possess the right mix of core competencies. As a result, these committees are used as a talent development pipeline.
There is a formal onboarding process for committee members and every committee has clear goals and committee members are accountable for their results. The task of those regional volunteer committees is simple: identify, select, plan and execute projects that employees want to participate in and support local social and business objectives.
To accomplish this committees meet bi-monthly to review and select potential opportunities. Using a project planning guide, they scope and plan projects and select a project captain who is responsible for additional planning, volunteer recruitment, execution, and evaluation of the project.
Projects range from building outdoor classrooms to throwing birthday parties for homeless children.
100% of employees participated in XTEAM in 2017 with 70% of employees doing 2+ projects. 24% of employees said they developed new business relationships. XTEAM fielded 321 volunteer projects benefitting 227 nonprofit organizations, which equated to 40,000 hours of service at a value of $1.12 million.
More than 700,000 individuals were directly impacted as a result of XTEAM and 100% of nonprofit partners said they are likely to recommend Berkshire Bank for business.