3 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement with Corporate Philanthropy

An emphasis on creating purpose driven work for employees has become a crucial facet of employee engagement for businesses today. However, businesses are not stopping at creating a sense of purpose through daily tasks and job duties. Sense of purpose can be attained on a higher level for employees who are working for a company that has a strong sense of corporate social responsibility.

While corporate social responsibility is often viewed as a strategy to gain the trust of customers, it has also become essential in gaining the loyalty of employees. When businesses empower their employees to make the world a better place, employee engagement increases as a result.

According to the 2015 Snapshot Report on America’s Charities, 88% of businesses believe effective employee engagement programs help attract and retain employees. While traditional corporate philanthropy programs involve employees uniting to support one cause, new trends in employee values indicate that it is time for a change of strategy.

This strategy involves transitioning the view of corporate philanthropy as a transaction to giving as a component of a company’s values and culture. Here are just a few ways you can improve your corporate philanthropy strategy to increase employee engagement:

#1. Empower Employees to Give to Causes they Care About

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According to America’s Charities 2015 Snapshot Report, 87% of businesses believe that their employees expect them to support causes and issues that matter to those employees.

Another study on employee engagement specific to the Millennial generation, The Millennial Impact Report of 2015, concluded that “leadership should consult team members at all levels about the types of causes they are most interested in and what types of initiatives and giving campaigns would most entice them to participate.”

However, this statement causes somewhat of a conflict for employers when developing a corporate philanthropy strategy that coincides with employee engagement. It is not possible to get everyone in an organization to agree on what philanthropic endeavor their workplace should support.

Every individual has different values and causes that they are passionate about and it is ignorant for businesses to assume that employee engagement will increase as a result of a generic corporate philanthropy program.

In addition, the conclusion of the 2015 Millennial Impact Report advises employers to gather feedback from their employees by asking:

  • What types of initiatives are team members passionate about giving to?
  • How can incentives and competitions increase and retain participation in giving campaigns?
  • What influences them to give to company-sponsored causes?

While these are reasonable questions in gathering information on the values of employees, it is what the employer does with this information that will make the difference between success and failure of the overall corporate philanthropy strategy in relation to employee engagement.

It seems like a simple concept. Find a cause that most employees seem interested in and support that particular cause. However, it’s easy for businesses to miss the big picture with this methodology.

Employees value individuality and view the causes they care about as a part of who they are. They want their passions to be supported by the business they work for.

#2. Encourage Social Recognition

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Taking advantage of technology to create external recognition of employees for giving back is another essential aspect in motivating employees to participate in corporate philanthropy efforts.

Employees want to be recognized by their peers when they do something good for the community and also want to spread awareness of the causes they care about. Several key statistics from the 2015 Snapshot Report revealed the power of utilizing social media in increasing employee engagement:

  • 55% of businesses say their employees want the ability to post content and promote their favorite causes to their peers, as social media is important to employees both inside and outside the walls of the workplace.
  • 57% of businesses say their employees expect they should be allowed to use social media to engage with and promote their causes.
  • 56% of businesses are now using social media tools as part of their employee engagement program.

Social networks are key to influencing others and when employees are passionate about a cause, they want to share it with the world. Businesses need to encourage employees to share how the company is supporting giving and volunteering efforts. It is not only the customers who buy your products, but your employees who are your brand ambassadors.

#3. Don’t Limit Giving to a Certain Time of Year

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Studies show that
giving to charity improves happiness, and companies with happy employees are 12% more productive according to a study from the Social Market Foundation. If it has been displayed that corporate giving programs improve a company’s performance, then why only reap the benefits of corporate philanthropy a couple times a year?

Emphasis on employee engagement and satisfaction should not be minimized to encouraging employees to participate in a yearly event or donate around Christmas time. According to America’s Charities 2015 Snapshot Report, 60% of companies have a year round giving program for employees.

These programs typically include offering multiple volunteer events and giving employees the opportunity to give a portion of their paycheck to charity. It is essential for businesses to allow employees to contribute to the causes that they are passionate about at any time to experience the benefits of maximized employee engagement.

How Your Business Can Do All Three

It may only seem scalable for your company to apply one of these methods to increase employee engagement. The good news is, there is a way for your business to apply all three of these suggestions to your corporate philanthropy strategy without extensive strain on company resources.

That’s where 4ME4WE comes in – our system can help corporations simplify and diversify their charitable giving strategies by giving consumers control over what nonprofit organizations to support. Companies that put charity first will attract and retain the best possible talent.

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