Today, the “giving culture” is growing fast in the private sector.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs are getting more and more attention and thus also more and more funds to be executed. Two important components of the CSR approach are corporate giving and employee engagement, which have proven not only important to motivate your employees, but also to seduce customers looking to positively impact society through their purchases.
Let’s have a look at how many of the largest companies are leading the way.
In a report by CECP, 272 multi-billion dollar companies were surveyed in 2015-2016 about their societal engagement and shared their best-practices.
As seen in the previous numbers, the main reason for their efforts is the engagement of their employees. In CECP’s words, “Companies with an authentic commitment to societal stakeholders can increase productivity by attracting, empowering and retaining purpose-oriented employees. The imperative Workforce Index shows that purpose-oriented workers have 20% longer tenure, 50% greater likelihood to be in a leadership position, 47% greater likelihood to be company advocates, and 64% higher levels of fulfillment.”
How to make employee volunteering a success for your company?
The companies surveyed reported that the highest volunteer-participation rates were achieved by offering skill-based volunteering (Pro Bono Service & Board Leadership). These were thus naturally also the companies that reported the highest average number of volunteer hours (249’853 hours/year). Obviously, it’s a challenge to create programs that effectively increase your employee engagement. Realized Worth has analyzed this in a very interesting way, by dividing the “journey of a volunteer” into 3 distinct stages:
- The Tourist: Volunteer is not yet sure if this experience is the right fit for him/her (70% of employee volunteers).
- The Traveler: Volunteer will begin to internalize his/her motivation for returning. As she/he owns the experience, she/he will become ready to take on leadership responsibility and tasks that require increased commitment (25% of employee volunteers).
- The Guide: Volunteer is motivated entirely by personal, intrinsic reasons. Guides can be trusted to run the program when no other leader is around and will recruit new volunteers without being asked (5% of employee volunteers).
To summarize the findings of the report, if you want to make employee volunteering a success at your company, try out the following tactics:
- Utilize the employee ambassadors (Guides) to serve as internal champions to promote your programs with the other employees.
- Consider regional, cross-business-unit competitions and rewards to incentivize engagement of employees.
- Consider experimenting with non-traditional programs that are skill-based, on-site, virtual, or employee-chosen in order to engage new audiences.
*This article is inspired from “An in-depth analysis of 2015 corporate giving and employee engagement data from the world’s largest companies” and “The new competitive advantage: Giving in numbers Brief 2016” from CECP