4 Ways to Connect Giving and Engagement at Work

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Group of business people assembling jigsaw puzzleI am completely on board with a couple of recent business trends in corporate America-corporate philanthropy and employee engagement. Now how about we put those two things together. Philanthropy and engagement can work together in some pretty great ways. Not only can organizations give back to their community, they can offer valuable benefits to their employees at the same time. Corporate philanthropy platform providers Truist said:

“Workplace giving and volunteering activities help employees to make sense of their place within the organization in a positive manner. This reinforces that they aren’t just part of the faceless masses toiling away for a corporate mission. Instead, they are part of a larger, altruistic movement based on values, social justice, and giving.”

Companies can use charitable donations as an incentive to participate in employee engagement surveys.

We now know that traditional, annual employee engagement surveys don’t work for several reasons. In order to get timely and accurate information from the workforce, employers have to implement monthly or even bi-monthly, shorter surveys.

Offering a charitable donation of their choice for participating is a great way to get the feedback that leaders need, while giving your employees the chance to give back in the name of the company. You can also offer these incentives as prizes for gamified surveys, sales contests, gifts of gratitude or random giveaways.

Get employees involved in selecting causes and events.

Once you dive in and see what the community could need from your organization, the possibilities are endless. Find out what matters most to your workforce. Solicit suggestions about event types, specific charities or known community needs.

5Ks and run/walk events are also a fantastic way to foster healthy practices and teamwork. There are also charities like Habitat for Humanity that offer great group projects that add value to the community. Corporate recruiting strategist, Alaina Rivas, talks about powerful ways to motivate your staff:

“Encourage employees to serve on committees, get involved in professional associations and give back to the community. Publicly representing your business allows them to take ownership and pride in what they do. And as we all know from personal experience, you’re more willing to put in extra effort on projects you take pride in.”

Give workplace incentives for employees who participate in charitable causes.

Let’s face it: What’s good for the community is good for business. When employees go the extra mile with their volunteer work, give them a little something back. Maybe add a day or two to their vacation time. Even just cutting out of work early can really boost morale and give incentive to continue with their charitable efforts. Great parking spots, long lunches and work-from-home days are all great and cheap ways to incentivize charitable work.

Offer gift matching.

This one isn’t quite as thrifty an idea, but the reality is that employees have come to expect charitable donations gift matching programs. Furthermore, the money invested in programs like these, always tends to come right back to the organization. According to a recent Gallup poll, above average businesses in employee engagement enjoy two times the success rate of below-average businesses. Double the Donation, corporate gift matching program, reports:

“A key driver of Employee Engagement has been reported to be an employee’s perception of the organization’s values. Without a positive feeling about the values of the organization, employee engagement will likely remain low. At a time when Employee Engagement is on the decline and corporations are depicted as greedy and insensitive, a well designed matching gift program can help companies to show their employees they care and have shared values.”

Altruism and employee engagement are two pretty fantastic things that, when put together, make a whole lot of business sense. Use these four ideas as a jumping off point; there are a ridiculous amount of opportunities out there to get your organization involved and engaged. Getting involved in corporate philanthropy has a ripple effect that reaches more areas of the organization than you would probably think.

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A marketing professional with over a decade of leadership experience, Melissa has led marketing teams in companies ranging from travel to fundraising to small business apps, always multiplying results with her contagious ambition. And while the pressure of being the marketing mastermind would be more than enough for most pros, Melissa is also VP of Talent Management. Imagine being in charge of talent in a team of talent management pros! But Melissa's natural ability to bring out the best in people - and make them feel great about their work AND life - leaves her with no need to fret.

Melissa can never get enough of helping people achieve, and provides business and life coaching inside and outside of the Herd.

She is a fitness fanatic, with a serious addiction to David's Tea (Matcha Matsu is her top pick). She enjoys spending her time with the people she loves.