June 16, 2017
Written by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
John Zaganczyk, Vice President of Customer Service at We Energies, has led the effort to recruit, recommend, and select an employee to participate in United Way’s Loaned Executive program the past few years. A 34-year United Way donor, John is happy to serve as chair of the We Energies United Way campaign for the second year in a row. John is also a member of the Major Campaigns division of United Way’s campaign cabinet.
We asked John about why We Energies chooses to be part of the Loaned Executive Program year after year.
Why does We Energies participate in United Way’s Loaned Executive program?
At We Energies, the community is our customer; we are neighbors and friends serving neighbors and friends. To a large degree, that mission also applies to United Way. Both organizations create products and services that affect the quality of life for those in our community. For us, that means providing safe, reliable, efficient energy and services. For United Way, that’s food, shelter, employment, and good health.
We are very proud to participate in United Way activities in any way we can because it further connects us to the community. By loaning a We Energies employee to United Way for four months each year, we see benefits to our business, our employees, and the people we serve.
How does We Energies benefit from encouraging employees to participate in this program?
While we are investing four months to loan an employee to United Way, the ROI for our business, our employee, and our community is incredible. After the experience of being a Loaned Executive, these employees perform their jobs better and are better equipped to compete for new opportunities in our company.
As a result of this experience, the employee can spread awareness of community issues throughout our organization. Our community’s biggest issues aren’t always visible. An employee with Loaned Executive experience brings back a perspective on the struggles and challenges our customers face that we may not see or fully understand.
Ultimately, a Loaned Executive’s role is to mobilize resources to improve our community. When the community grows, our business grows. When the community is strong, our business is strong.
How do the “loaned” employees benefit?
I can’t think of a better way, in just four months, to grow and develop employees. When that employee comes back after the campaign, they are stronger communicators and presenters, have more confidence in themselves, show executive presence, and have a stronger commitment to the community. This opportunity also reaffirms the relationship between our company and our employees – there is a sense of honor in being chosen to participate in the Loaned Executive program.
What would you say to another business leader about the Loaned Executive program?
Participate in United Way’s Loaned Executive program. It’s a great return on investment, helping your brand, your employees, and your community.
When you loan an employee to United Way’s Loaned Executive program, that employee is going to meet thousands of community members. These are your customers, and these are your potential employees. Offering an opportunity like this is great for recruitment and retention of outstanding team members. And, in partnering with United Way, you demonstrate your commitment to building a stronger community.
Learn more about United Way’s Loaned Executive program.
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