Adding Value + Creating a Positive Impact Through Corporate Social Responsibility
At Athene, our culture of innovation and entrepreneurship means we are driven to not only outperform in the insurance marketplace — but also through our corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. From stakeholder engagement to volunteerism to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), 2022 was a record year for putting CSR ideas into action. To fully capture our efforts, we created a 2021 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report.
CSR work has positively impacted our customers and employees, as well as the communities in which we live and operate — and I hope this piece will provide ideas and inspiration for organizations across the Greater Des Moines region.
Prioritizing Our Stakeholders
Core to our CSR is the value we place on our stakeholders. Acknowledging and enthusiastically accepting the responsibility and opportunities to do more for our stakeholders has allowed Athene to grow beyond expectations. We strive for customer satisfaction. In 2021, we conducted a Voice of Customer survey and received 4,140 responses that in turn guided our customer service strategy for 2022.
Additionally, we choose to invest in our employees and create a culture with opportunities to express themselves, to be heard and to influence change. As such, our commitment to our surrounding community has consistently been the highest rated category in our employee engagement survey. We are proud to be able to align this passion with our business objectives and be an ally to local organizations like United Way of Central Iowa.
Focusing on our commitment to stakeholders includes keeping customers, employees and surrounding community engaged and at the forefront of what we do.
Importance of DEI + Employee Empowerment
I’m proud that Athene brings action to our vision to create a workplace, workforce and marketplace that exemplifies passion and dedication to DEI. This work empowers employees to bring their ideas, differences and experiences to the workplace. And in turn, it strengthens the fabric.
Some of the ways we’ve succeeded in advancing DEI is by formally updating and creating policies that protect and demonstrate our commitment. Genuinely having a workplace that lives out its DEI mission means employees’ physical and emotional health and overall well-being are considered in everything we do, from policies and benefits to training and amenities.
DEI is woven into all aspects of our company, and our actions are driven by three main goals: deepening education of DEI issues, increasing the diversity of our workforce and seizing micro-opportunities to build a culture of inclusion and belonging. Creating specific goals around DEI has helped us lay the groundwork and could be a great first step if you’re digging into your company’s DEI efforts.
Our employees recognize, respect and welcome the collective perspectives their co-workers bring to the table. I believe other organizations will see the same benefits when they focus on empowering employees. Every employee has unique skills and talents that support our organization, and celebrating these individual attributes is a cornerstone philosophy Athene wholeheartedly embraces.
Vision for a Brighter Future
Looking to the future, we will continue to focus on action toward our vision to build a brighter future for our communities. Athene has identified four philanthropic pillars — education, human services, health and well-being and the environment — which we have and continue to support over the years through philanthropy and volunteerism. Identifying areas of focus that align with your company values and add stakeholder value are a great way to cement your giving.
Volunteerism is one way that every organization can make a big impact — both for the community and also in centering company values. I challenge business leaders across Iowa to think about how they are formally encouraging volunteerism among employees.
At Athene, it is engrained in our culture that our 1,400 employees take ownership in making tangible impacts in their communities. They donate time and money to causes that matter, including more than 5,000 volunteer hours and more than $4 million in donations.
Additionally, we have significantly increased the size of our Athene Charitable Foundation and our committed disbursements through 2024. Clearly laying out our vision for our giving strategy has helped turn ideas into impact.
Improving the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community through volunteering and community service is a priority for many. Thanks to community engagement opportunities and leadership connecting local businesses to causes that provide services to improve the region, DSM continues to be a place that provides support for those who live, work and play here.
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Kristi Kaye Burma
Kristi Burma is Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Athene and a member of the Greater Des Moines Partnership Talent Development Board. She is passionate about employee engagement, giving back to the Des Moines community, and spending time outdoors, especially if it involves time with her family.