EnergyAustralia has shone at Workplace Giving Australia’s 2021 awards for excellence, taking out gold for best overall program (large organisation) as well as best innovation.
Mark Brownfield, EnergyAustralia’s Chief Customer Officer, accepted the awards at the 30 November ceremony, saying they top off what’s been a big year for workplace giving at the company.
“Earlier this year we reached a million dollars donated to charity through workplace giving. And incredibly this was achieved in less than three years – faster than any other Australian business. And now we’re close to cracking $1.5 million.
“Winning these two awards is fantastic recognition of the huge success workplace giving has been at EnergyAustralia,” Mark said.
The money raised has gone to nine charity partners working in the areas of cancer research, homelessness, mental health and education, with Mark saying he has a soft spot for Launch Housing.
“Thanks to donations from our people, matched by the company, Launch Housing has provided emergency grants to over 160 women escaping family violence. It's given these women access to safe and stable housing. That's pretty special to us.
“Another charity we support is Wombat’s Wish in Geelong. They help children who’ve experienced the death of a parent. Because of us they were able to put on a camp in March for 20 children and nine surviving parents. And in September they held a group counselling session for eight kids. All funded by EnergyAustralia and its people,” he said.
When accepting the awards Mark was quick to credit the company’s people as the real stars of the program.
“Workplace giving at EnergyAustralia belongs to our people. They have embraced it, with nearly 70 per cent taking part. And while it's easy to say that you care, our people have put their money where their mouth is – they genuinely care about the communities where we live and work.
“And it’s true across the organisation – from our people on the phone at the Geelong contact centre, through to those working in our power stations.
“And the fact that they care was something I saw demonstrated again just recently. This Christmas we’ve offered our people a celebration hamper, with an option to instead donate their hamper’s value to one of our charity partners. Many took this up resulting in $12,900 going to our charity partners,” said Mark.
How workplace giving works at EnergyAustralia is that employees choose to donate via a fortnightly pre-tax salary deduction. Donations are matched by the organisation, doubling employees’ support. About 70 per cent of EnergyAustralia’s 2300 employees participate.
Given it’s the people at EnergyAustralia behind its remarkable workplace giving success, it’s only appropriate the last word belongs to one of them.
“One dollar a week to be part of something so big. This feels good,” said Kerry McMinn, EnergyAustralia’s Training Design and Delivery Specialist.