A company’s ability to save money through corporate philanthropy is not a new concept, but it is often an underrated one. The average employee turnover rate of all U.S. industries is 16.7%, which is costing companies huge amounts of money.
If you lose a top performer, everyone in the business is affected. Replacing them could cause service disruptions, a substantial amount of financing, training and handling cultural shifts. So, how exactly does corporate philanthropy tie in?
A recent survey conducted by America’s Charities discovered that there have been dramatic shifts in corporate philanthropy over the past few years. The survey revealed that employees who have grown in the digital culture expect their workplace to offer corporate philanthropy programs to mirror what they can access outside of the workplace. Offering corporate social responsibility programs not only boosts your company’s repertoire but also helps you retain employees. Here’s how:
Organizing a corporate volunteer program addresses many problems that cause employee turnover. Some of these causes could be a poor relationship with their boss, bored with the work itself, lack of relationships with co-workers and so much more. When you organize days of service for employees, this gives the opportunity for co-workers to work together and form relationships. 64% of employees who currently volunteer said that volunteering with work colleagues strengthened their relationships.
When employees have the ability to work together on something out of the office, like volunteering, it rids of the corporate hierarchy. Employees from different departments and different levels of seniority are able to collaborate and interact on a deeper level, forming deeper relationships in the process. This helps boost employee retention considering close work friendships boost work satisfaction by 50%.
2. Corporate culture & meaningful work
Employees, especially millennials, want to work for companies that care. A study by Cone Research found that 79% of people prefer to work for a socially responsible company. Integrating a corporate philanthropy program with your business goals and values gives employees a sense of purpose. Having the ability to volunteer, participate in workplace giving programs and matching gift opportunities allows employees to feel more connected to their communities and boosts your company-wide social responsibility efforts.
Skills-based and pro bono giving opportunities are also effective in retaining employees. These opportunities give employees the chance the put their abilities to use and give them a chance to grow their professional skills. In a study by Deloitte, 85% of respondents found skills-based volunteering to help talent advance their communication skills vs 77% for non-skills-based volunteering. All of this empowers employees to grow in the company and infuses pride and loyalty.
3. Employee recognition & financial stability
Employees that are actively disengaged cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion a year. Engaged employees are happier and perform at a higher level, and people who volunteer report feeling better emotionally, mentally and physically. Research from the University of Georgia shows that employee volunteering is linked to greater workplace satisfaction and productivity. Jessica Rodell, Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, said:
Overwhelmingly employees who volunteered gave more time and effort to their jobs, were more willing to help out their colleagues, talked more positively about their companies and were less likely to do detrimental things like cyberloaf or waste time on the job.
When employees perform well, management has more of a reason to recognize employee’s efforts. Employee appreciation and recognition reinforces behavior and sets a foundation for future positive performance. In the Millennial Impact Report, 53% of people responded that their passions and talents being recognized and addressed is their top reason for staying with their company.
Corporate philanthropy programs have become the center of many company’s efforts in retaining employees. With affordable technology platforms, it’s easier than ever to empower employees to promote their favorite cause. Charitable giving opportunities are important in engaging employees in a changing workplace, and employers need to recognize the importance of staying on top of what employees want so you can constantly reinvent your strategy.
About the author: Liz Bardetti is a seasoned advertising and marketing professional with 15+ years experience, including work for Gatorade, Welch’s and most recently, CyberGrants.