3 Business Benefits of an Employee Giving Program

June 28, 2017 Sydney Frazer

How to attract, retain and engage an emerging workforce that’s hungry to do good

A guest blog by Sydney Frazer, Partnerships Manager at 

When employee benefits and perks are discussed today, much of the conversation is focused on ones that are unique. It might be catered lunch, an on-site gym, student loan repayment, a game room, or a dog-friendly office. Whatever it is, unusual perks and benefits are getting their fair share of attention with companies like Glassdoor covering the Top 20 Employee Benefits and Perks. And given that 57 percent of job seekers consider perks and benefits to be a top factor when deciding to accept a new job, it isn’t too surprising that companies are focusing more and more on them.
 
However, there is one perk that is not quite as flashy as the others, but incredibly effective nonetheless: Goodness programs. Goodness programs are defined as “the giving of time, money, talent, and services to worthy charities via the workplace.” While they might get less recognition than some other perks and benefits, companies with well-designed giving and volunteering programs are certainly seeing them pay off with increased employee motivation, better retention, and engaged employees. Unsure about including a Goodness program in your host of benefits and perks? Consider these three emerging trends from companies with defined Goodness programs if you need an extra nudge.
 
1. Leveraging Goodness to Recruit Gen Z 
Companies with Goodness programs are using them to attract Gen Z during their job search with great success. While the exact years are debated, Gen Z is generally defined as people born between 1996 and 2010. With a population of almost 60 million Americans, this generation stands even larger than Millennials. They’ve recently begun to graduate and, similarly to Millennials, recruiters are trying to figure out how to attract them to their companies by looking at what drives them. The stats show that Goodness could be the answer, and companies are starting to take note: 

  • 93 percent of Gen Z say how a company impacts society affects where they decide to work
  • 72 percent said corporate responsibility is extremely important to them
  • According to Randstad, this generation is “more interested in working for something they believe in or for a company whose values they share…”

Nike is a great example of a company that’s using its employee giving program to attract young talent. In their job postings, they mention that their benefits package is “among the best around” and this package includes a host of Goodness programs. In addition, they note their “diverse and inclusive culture” and, as a global company operating in over 120 countries, an international Goodness program can be one of the most powerful ways to pull together employees from all cultures and backgrounds.
 
In today’s society, where 76 percent of job seekers want details on what makes a company an attractive place to work, Nike’s company website (which is oftentimes a starting point for job seekers) shows their dedication to doing good in the world. The “Community Impact” section of their site reveals the different programs they have implemented to help give back to the communities around them, including the Nike Community Impact Fund, the Nike Community Ambassador program and The Girl Effect.
 
2. Employee Giving Leads to Employee Engagement
Companies with workplace giving and volunteering programs are commonly known for giving back to their employees in other ways, whether by paying them well or offering them great perks. In fact, research into Fortune’s 50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back showed that, when compared to peer companies, a larger percentage of companies on this list have employees who cite being paid fairly, receiving a fair share of profits, and having special benefits. A couple of companies that do just this include:

  • Salesforce, which was named third on Fortune’s list, offers its employees up to $2,500 in donation matching gifts per year. After an employee has completed 56 hours of volunteer time, an additional $2,500 is unlocked for further matching gifts. Salesforce also takes care of its employees with a wellness allowance, as well as an on-site wellness center with group fitness classes. Not surprisingly, it has been named to Glassdoor’s list of the Best Places to Work for six out of the past seven years. 
  • Seventh Generation, which was seventh on Fortune’s list, offers every full-time employee 16 hours of paid time off annually to volunteer in the community. The company also sponsors a few employees in national and international volunteer efforts every year. Seventh Generation prides itself on giving back to their employees by offering a flexible wellbeing reimbursement, Summer Fridays, access to their product line, and paid sabbatical. 

3. The Bottom Line: Companies Do Well by Doing Good 
Companies utilizing Goodness programs are not only able to attract great talent; they’re also seeing profound effects in several areas that affect their bottom lines. According to a recent study from Project ROI, well-designed corporate responsibility programs can:

  • Reduce staff turnover by 50%
  • Increase productivity by up to 13%
  • Increase employee engagement by up to 7.5%

Dale Carnegie research shows that companies with engaged employees outperform by 202 percent. And when 54 percent of employees take pride in their company’s social contributions are engaged, it’s easy to see how companies can “do well by doing good.”
 
Just take a look at Microsoft, which has used Goodness programs as a way to engage employees since the early 80s, in turn seeing positive effects on their bottom line. The company was named to Glassdoor’s list of the Best Places to Work in 2017 with one employee citing that management should “keep up the good work on the employee engagement.” Microsoft keeps their people engaged with Microsoft Give, their employee giving campaign that has been around since 1983. In 2016 alone, employee participation was at 74 percent, with employees volunteering 650,000 hours and donating $142 million, including company matching. This not only helps engage employees, but also helps in creating favorable brand reputation and loyalty with customers and other stakeholders.
 
Feeling inspired, but wondering where you can start? Check out these tips, taken from the successes of Benevity’s Fortune 1000 clients:

7 Secrets to a Successful Workplace Giving Program, Part 1
7 Secrets to Boost your Workplace Giving Programs, Part 2: Motivation, Matching, Volunteering and Metrics

About the Author

Sydney Frazer

As a Partnerships Manager at Glassdoor, Sydney works with hundreds of accounts across universities, libraries, and blogs, helping to provide them with content and tools to aid job seekers. Outside of work, Sydney enjoys running, hiking, and searching for the perfect burrito.

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