This guest post is by Miri Zena McDonald, a strategic communications consultant. Miri tweets at @miri_orgchange. She attended the Marcus Evans 6th Annual Employee Engagement and Internal Communications Conference last week in Orlando.
Discovery Communications celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. Tim Redd, manager of Discovery’s internal communications, saw this as an opportunity to reinforce the company’s mission (“To satisfy curiosity and make a difference in people’s lives by providing the highest quality content, services and products that entertain, engage and enlighten.”), engage all employees around the world and make a positive impact on the planet.
Discovery founder and Chairman John Hendricks played a prominent role in the anniversary festivities, including an appearance at the anniversary party that was simulcast to offices around the world. The cake was baked by Buddy Valastro of “Cake Boss.”
In addition to the big party, Redd and his team planned for something exciting to greet employees each day of that week. Highlights included a global cupcake party marking the first day of the celebration, T-shirts, announcements on the employee intranet, a commemorative DVD on every employee’s desk, and a screening of “Iceberg Alley,” the first program featured on the Discovery channel.
The last day of the celebration may have been the most important for Discovery: a global day of volunteerism called Discover Your Impact. More than 3,000 employees from 40 offices across five continents spent a total of 12,000 hours giving back to the planet and their communities. On-site volunteer activities were also available for employees that could not leave their offices, including blood drives, making cards for sick children and assembling hurricane relief kits. The volunteer day was so well received that company leadership committed to making it an annual event.