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Meet one-on-one with Pat J. Karol

My 8 Gallon Pin, How the American Red Cross Keeps Me Engaged

I’ve been giving blood through the American Red Cross for a long time. I’m in pretty good health and feel fortunate that I am able to give. The cool thing is that the Red Cross doesn’t take me for granted. They engage me in a way that shows appreciation for my efforts and my contribution to their mission to “alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.” And it keeps me coming back!

Here’s how The American Red Cross has engaged me:

  1. They thank me specifically in person immediately after donating and via email within a few hours. That seems pretty simple, but how often do we thank an employee by following the golden rule of recognition; soon, certain and positive?

  2. They profile one person who has benefitted directly from a blood donation. They recently profiled a cutie-pie with a beautiful smile named Tymia. She suffers from sickle cell anemia and has needed 31 blood transfusions. They didn’t talk about how many hundreds or thousands of people they helped this year. They told me about Tymia. That’s making it personal!

  3. They follow up with me by letting me know where my donation was sent. In this case, it was the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. How often do we follow up with an employee on any issue? Is the follow up timely? Or do we leave them wondering what if anything will happen?

  4. They recognized me with a cool lapel pin when I reached my most recent milestone, 8 Gallons. They also give me a small gift almost every time I donate. In this case, a gift card.

  5. They provide progress towards my next milestone. I have 8 units to achieve my next milestone.

  6. They send occasional surveys asking for my feedback on my experience during the donation process. This tells me they appreciate my input and are always looking to improve.

The American Red Cross offers an effective recipe and benchmark for engaging employees at any level. We often direct our engagement strategies and tactics towards front line employees, but these tactics work equally as well with senior leaders. It is a low cost and high impact effort that keeps me giving!

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