Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

GoDaddy empowers employees through personalized entrepreneur experience


GoDaddy empowers employees through personalized entrepreneur experience
GoDaddy Inc.'s You Empower pilot cohort has proven the power of one-on-one personalized coaching for entrepreneurs eager to improve their small business' digital presence and branding by leveraging its deep expertise as the world's largest services platform for entrepreneurs worldwide.

GoDaddy You Empower is a 12-week, skills-based, full-time employee volunteer assignment that pairs employees with Empower by GoDaddy non-profit community partners. The pilot's goal was to provide an enriching professional development experience for GoDaddy employees while also providing much-needed additional digital support and training to microbusinesses in the Empower by GoDaddy program. Most participating entrepreneurs prioritized developing skills in website creation and digital presence, as well as other critical marketing, social media, and branding tools.

Empower by GoDaddy is the company's signature social impact program, which provides digital tools, training, and resources to entrepreneurs from underserved communities in order to accelerate their small business journeys. Empower by GoDaddy works with non-profit partners to understand local communities and the small business landscape in order to identify gaps and develop customized, neighborhood-based programs to support entrepreneurs at all stages.

Empower by GoDaddy created You Empower as a 12-week pilot in which three GoDaddy employees collaborated virtually and in person with three Empower by GoDaddy non-profit partners. Impact Hub Baltimore, Better Business Bureau of the Pacific Southwest, and Alabama State University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) were among the initial program partners.

At the end of the pilot cohort, Empower by GoDaddy's non-profit partners reported that the GoDaddy volunteer coaches' one-on-one attention, deep expertise, and highly encouraging and personable support propelled participating entrepreneurs' website content, strategy, and operations forward. Feedback also indicated that the entrepreneurs were motivated to create or update their websites and strengthen their marketing and digital efforts as a result of the coaches' individualized, constructive guidance and accountability.

“Most of the entrepreneurs were intimidated at first,” explained Mesha McMiller, a GoDaddy You Empower volunteer. “The entrepreneurs were hoping to convert more customers whether through driving product purchase, scheduling appointments, etc., so we helped them dial in on their goals and get to where they wanted to be.”

All three GoDaddy You Empower volunteers were asked to keep journals throughout the program, reflecting on their personal and professional experiences, and were interviewed at the end. Among their thoughts were:

“Over the course of several years, I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge that has enabled me to successfully connect customers with the right product to meet their needs in the way of websites, digital media and server technology. You Empower allowed me to take those interactions further. I was able to not only connect with the entrepreneurs in a personal way but could also act as a sounding board and coach as they published and revamped their websites, began using social media pages, or set in motion plans to expand their online audience. The entrepreneurs highly valued the coaching we provided and were eager to learn and finally present their work. The experience was deeply satisfying and empowering. I cannot wait to see how the You Empower program evolves and affects not only the entrepreneurs we serve but also other employees here at GoDaddy.” said Mesha McMiller, GoDaddy Website Specialist II

“You Empower granted me the ability to work on the ground with people I’ve always had a connection with – small businesses making an impact in their community. Through getting to know them personally and seeing them with their first online win – what I had been doing with GoDaddy for years now finally clicked. This is why I love my job and the people I get to interact with every day. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity and can’t wait to see the program grow to help others feel the same.” said Cody Mahaffey, GoDaddy Marketing Services Account Manager III

“This experience afforded me the opportunity to see things I would have never seen [being in Alabama]. The program gave me an understanding of who I am – the uniqueness of who I am. I now approach my work with even more conviction. I can help anyone lean in more and stretch.”   said Desmond Sweet, GoDaddy Learning Program Manager.

GoDaddy offers the following key insights from its You Empower pilot to other companies looking to build full-time, skills-based employee volunteer assignments with their community partners:
  • Be very deliberate about the community partners with whom you choose to work by defining clear criteria, vetting partners, and conducting site visits. It is critical to ensure that the partner can meet the corporate partner's and their own organization's expectations.
  • Develop and implement an engaging and comprehensive initial training programme for employees, including an overview of the tools available to support volunteer coaching and delivery, background on the nonprofit partner and players, and insights about the community and participants.
  • Don't underestimate the value of face-to-face interaction in making the experience meaningful and impactful for employees, program participants, and non-profit partners.
  • Believe in the importance of testing and learning, and adopt the mindset that "failing forward," or learning by doing without fear, only helps to achieve the mission and business goals of your social impact program.
“I’m thrilled that hundreds of Empower by GoDaddy entrepreneurs received the additional skills-building and coaching that they sought,” said April Skeete, GoDaddy employee engagement leader.

“I’m very proud of how committed GoDaddy is to truly being there for entrepreneurs throughout their journey with ongoing support, no matter an entrepreneur’s circumstance or background. These efforts really signify how GoDaddy lives out its mission of making opportunity more inclusive for all.”