Clearly, if the goals of workplace giving are employee engagement, building a company culture of giving and maximizing the social impact that the company makes, then having employees actively participate is a must-do. It needs to be meaningfully woven into the company’s culture and identity.
However snazzy, an employee giving program or solution/tool is only effective if people are using it. For successful workplace giving programs, companies need to ensure the entire experience is convenient for both employees and administrators. It needs to be extremely easy to use, highly visual, and provide more to employees than just a “digitized” pledge form that they set once a year and forget.
Many companies have told us that current workplace giving programs and the associated technology is too complex and cumbersome: both for employees as end users and for managers who administer them. We are hearing that companies have an increased desire for workplace giving programs that are super-easy to set up and to use. And that is what web-based technology like Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions can help provide. (And it’s super affordable to boot!)
Another key way to make giving part of the everyday employee experience is to bring a web-based, empowered, personalized, experience to your programs. Consider this: outside of work (and maybe even sometimes at work — people are online: they’re using Facebook, booking travel online, buying custom running shoes from Nike.com; making recommendations on Zappos and Yelp and, all in all, enjoying personalized, interactive experiences online… on their computers and increasingly, and especially for Millennials, on their mobile phones. Now they come to work and they are given a once-a-year option to participate in a workplace giving campaign via a digital pledge form (set and forget) or perhaps a paper form. Good for the charity perhaps, but is that engagement? And on the volunteerism front, there are sadly, often, huge hoops to jump through and a ton of paperwork to tackle to get a grant to their chosen charity? How exciting is that?
Bring the same web experience to online workplace giving (through personal accounts, empowered choices about where, how and how much to give, easy and interactive communication and an online interface that is current) to replicate the experience most users have in all other of their online interactions. This is a great way to increase attention and takeup for employee giving and volunteering. And it can help your company create a culture of giving and move the needle on employee engagement all year long.
And, to the end of increasing participation and impact on employee engagement, don’t forget to focus on the HEART of workplace giving to ignite people’s passions for causes. We don’t mean to sound too uber-groovy or peacenik but giving is personal and if you can tap into the zeal that employees have for causes that matter to them (with a program/solution delivered under your company brand), you can translate that zeal into goodwill for your company. The right technology can help you more easily administer your employee giving programs more cost effectively. And this can free up resources like time, budget and energy to focus on programs and promotions so that you can really bring the HEART back into workplace giving.