Emmaus Partners with Kazoo to Amplify Culture

AUSTIN, Texas — October 11, 2019 Emmaus Homes, a Missouri-based nonprofit providing around-the-clock services to adults with developmental disabilities, today announced the organization has increased employee engagement through its partnership with Kazoo, the all-in-one Employee Experience Platform that enables companies to build purpose-driven cultures of high engagement and high performance. 


In 2016, Emmaus came to Kazoo looking for help with their employee engagement strategy. At the time, the nonprofit had more than 700 geographically dispersed employees and was struggling with high turnover, a cumbersome manual employee recognition program, being able to connect with remote employees, and their overall recruitment efforts. In an industry with a turnover rate of more than 35%, Emmaus leadership wanted a better way to show their commitment to their culture and how the work employees do each day is both meaningful and important.

In the three years since implementing Kazoo, 88% of Emmaus employees, including the organization’s CEO, have actively engaged with the platform, sending more than 40,000 pieces of employee recognition. The organization was also able to streamline their manual employee rewards program by using the Kazoo platform, which saved its rewards budget more than $25,000 in year one alone. Emmaus has used the savings to be put back into increasing the wages for Direct Support Professionals.

“Most of our staff is geographically dispersed between our 80 community homes, which can make it challenging to ensure we’re providing the highest quality supportive care for our clients,” said Cindy Clark, President & CEO at Emmaus. “By partnering with Kazoo, we can now see in real-time the great work our team is doing on a day-to-day basis and the positive impact their work is having on our clients to help them live as independently as possible.”

Today at Emmaus, employee recognition and rewards are no longer an afterthought. To ensure employees know that they are joining a culture of appreciation, new hires are introduced to Kazoo from day one as part of the onboarding process. In addition, the organization restructured its talent management strategy to provide a formal career path program. As part of applying for this process, employees are encouraged to download their recognition reports and bring those to the internal interview process.

The nonprofit also uses Kazoo to focus on their communication efforts by reminding and incentivizing employees to check weekly communications from the CEO. The subtle nudge to reinforce their communication efforts have kept the CEO’s approval rating above 90% on Glassdoor. In addition, Emmaus is very focused on employee safety, compliance, and communication and used Kazoo’s Behavior Bonus feature to give more than 1,800 bonuses to employees as incentives for living out organizational values.

“Kazoo has helped us streamline our engagement programs by putting all our efforts on one platform,” said Steven Amrhein, Brand Manager at Emmaus.“Instead of a ton of emails related to every need from employees, we set up alerts and reminders in Kazoo. At the end of the day, these changes don’t just make my job easier — they make us look like a cutting-edge organization in the nonprofit sector. It’s something fun that sets us apart.”

Kazoo’s integrated employee experience platform increases productivity, retention, and revenue while enabling companies to build purpose-driven cultures of high engagement and high performance. To learn more about Kazoo, visit www.KazooHR.com.


About Emmaus: At Emmaus Homes, we know that people with developmental disabilities want to be independent. In order to do that, they need a home and a community that embraces their unique abilities. The problem is: it’s hard to live without support, which makes them feel frustrated, excluded, and powerless. We believe our clients deserve the resources they need to live independently. We understand it’s tough to manage life alone, which is why for 125 years, as a faith-based organization, we have provided high-quality services, caring for the whole person for their whole life. With Emmaus standing behind them, and the support of the community, the people we support can stop worrying about losing control of their life and instead create their own story.