PEOs in the Community: NEMR Total HR: Building Community in More Ways Than One

BY Evan Fallor

Director, Communications

February 2024


For NEMR Total HR, volunteering has created a stronger South Jersey community — and a stronger team.

Giving back at the local level is a cause personal to NEMR Total HR President Steve Sweeney, who grew up within earshot of the company’s Marlton headquarters and is a lifelong resident of the greater Philadelphia area.

Leadership including Sweeney has long been active in volunteering and mentoring opportunities, a core tenet of NEMR Total HR’s identity. Each year, NEMR Total HR “adopts” a family through Volunteers of America’s Adopt-a-Family program that ensures one local disadvantaged family will have a joyous holiday season.

Over the years, they spent countless hours mentoring area youth in educational and professional topics and providing food assistance to an area with pockets of middle and upper middle class, but also neighborhoods that face significant socioeconomic challenges.

Those at the top noticed that the rest of the inquisitive and growing 35-person staff too was interested in giving back.

The NEMR Total HR team packs food boxes at a local food pantry.

So, they put their heads together and created a formal volunteering incentive policy, one that has become a win-win for the community and employees alike.

Employees now come up with their own volunteering ideas that they are free to pursue during normal work hours. For every volunteering stint, employees earn several hours of PTO, accruing up to two additional PTO days per year. It’s been a hit, Sweeney says, with roughly 80% of employees now volunteering in some capacity.

“The PTO incentive is what we thought would be a driving factor,” Sweeney said. “But it’s taken a backseat because everybody likes to volunteer together for causes they are passionate about.”

“Everybody loves doing this,” he added. “It really brings a lot of internal joy to a team that is all good-hearted.”

This includes volunteering at the local YMCA, mentoring area schoolchildren, or serving up meals at Cathedral Kitchen in nearby Camden. The team has held resume writing workshops, provided food and supplies for those in need during the holiday season, and diversified its community service portfolio as its efforts have expanded. They’ve also been active in partnering with local nonprofit BookSmiles to gather and distribute books to schools and children in area “book deserts.”

The team hosts a resume writing workshop.

NEMR Total HR also takes care of its own around the holidays – each employee has been given a Thanksgiving pie to share with family for 15 years and counting.

The organic drive to give back has morphed into a three-person committee of employees from different levels, all of whom get a say of where NEMR should focus its next volunteering efforts.

The result, Sweeney says: a stronger organization.

“It’s been great cross-departmental collaboration for teams that perhaps work with each other but don’t socialize much,” he said. “Doing volunteering activities together has really created a more collaborative team.”

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, NEMR HR in 2023 set a goal of 200 hours of collective community service, one it achieved by November — even before the holiday season. The 35-person firm had dedicated 220 volunteer hours and counting as of early December, a total head and shoulders above that of years past.

Most recently as part of its annual Volunteers of America efforts, the team adopted a local family who experienced significant trauma, gifting their children meaningful items from a wish list as well as meals and gift cards for their mother. That family was brought together this past holiday season just as the NEMR Total HR team has been brought closer together from its collective desire to give back.

“We’re not just donating money to a national cause and not seeing where it goes,” Sweeney said. “You can see that big impact in our community. We’re proud to be there for our neighbors that need help.”





Voters in Indiana’s 9th Congressional district elected Congresswoman Erin Houchin to serve in the United States House of Representatives in November 2022. In doing so, Rep. Houchin became the first woman elected to Congress from her district. She also holds the distinction of being the only person elected to Congress who has worked for a PEO.Rep. Houchin spoke to PEO Insider about her decision to seek public office, her experience working for a PEO, and the policies she champions.


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