CSR Awards: Workplace Innovation – Pioneer Services, a Division of MidCountry Bank

Back in 2005, Pioneer Services, a provider of financial services to members of the military and part of MidCountry Bank, established a paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO) benefit for its employees. VTO gives full-time employees 16 hours and part-time workers eight hours of paid time each year that they can use to work with a nonprofit organization of their choice.

By late 2008, Pioneer found that VTO was not being used often enough by employees. Consequently, Pioneer launched an initiative seeking to bolster VTO usage among employees and increase visibility of the benefit externally.

A key component of the campaign included a Volunteer Fair, in which 23 Kansas City area nonprofits provided information to more than 100 Pioneer employees.

The results? A 400% increase in VTO usage by employees; recognition by the Department of Veterans Affairs for assisting homeless veterans; and numerous individual honors for Pioneer volunteers. â– 

Honorable Mentions:


Butterball: Worker Safety Program —

At Butterball, new employees undergo five to seven days of safety training and a comprehensive medical exam. Management and workers conduct daily and weekly checks in their plants to assess any safety or health hazards.


Deloitte —

An Office Greening Toolkit gives employees tips on how to reduce energy by turning off office lights at night, powering down computers and unplugging devices. Workers can voluntarily measure their carbon footprints at work by filling out an online survey.


Pepsi Bottling Group: Healthy Living Challenge - Connecting Volunteering to Workplace Health —


With research showing that volunteering can have a positive impact on stress, depression and chronic pain, Pepsi implemented the “Healthy Living Challenge,” creating an annual national contest for the “healthiest” office location. Employees earned points for exercising and volunteering, resulting in a steep rise in both.