Nonprofit Partners with Kazoo to Amplify Culture



Kazoo, we talk a lot about the magic that happens when work is working. Today, we’re proud to share our partnership with Missouri-based nonprofit Emmaus Homes — and the extra good we can do together when nonprofit work is working.

Meet Emmaus Homes

Emmaus offers a vital service in its region: The 125-year-old nonprofit provides around-the-clock services to adults with developmental disabilities. With Emmaus’ help, more than 15,000 disabled adults are able to live lives of their choosing, independently or in communities.

It’s no small feat. In fact, Emmaus reports providing more than 1 million hours of direct support services per year. So when they came to Kazoo in 2016, looking for help with their employee engagement strategy, we knew there was a lot on the line.

How Kazoo unified culture and cut turnover

At the time, the nonprofit had more than 700 geographically dispersed (including remote) employees. They struggled with high turnover, an outdated manual employee recognition program, and recruitment.

Even scarier? The nonprofit industry has a whopping 35% turnover rate. Emmaus leadership needed to demonstrate to their employees how the work they did each day was meaningful and important.

Since signing on with Kazoo, 88% of Emmaus employees 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. This saved its rewards budget more than $25,000 in year one alone. Emmaus has used the savings to increase 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.”

A “cutting edge organization” in the nonprofit sector

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. Plus, the organization restructured its talent management strategy to provide a formal career path program. Internal applicants 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 by 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 used Kazoo’s Behavior Bonus feature to give more than 1,800 bonuses to employees for practicing organizational values. (These include is employee safety, compliance, and communication.)

“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 enables companies to build purpose-driven cultures of high engagement and high performance. To learn more about Kazoo, visit