If you are looking to improve or redesign your Giving program, the place to start is with your people. One of our recent clients who runs a successful United Way campaign conducted an employee survey as part of examining their program strategy. Their results exposed a gulf between what employees actually want and what management think they want when it comes to giving back (something we consistently hear from companies and users). Armed with these results, the company determined that their goals would be better met with a program that still supported the United Way but as part of a broader, choice-driven, strategic program.
The truth is, people – especially the younger ones – have an appetite for more empowerment and transparency… but don’t take it from us, ask your employees! Once you recognize that the desired outcome of your employee giving program is engagement (and the benefits that flow from that) rather than hitting a donation target, you need to put the employee at the center. If you are interested in gaining more insight into your employees’ interests, a simple survey can go a long way in determining what can be most effective to engage your workforce in meaningful ways.
Consider Some of These Points:
1. Where Do We Currently Stand?
Your employees and customers are of course are a great barometer to how you are perceived in your citizenship efforts. If you are looking to make changes to your program (or figure out whether you need to),
asking them how they would rank your current company reputation as a Corporate Citizen is a great benchmark to consider for future success. Ask them again a year later and see how far you’ve come!
2. What Should We Look For in Community Partners?
What should be our focus for community investment? What should our company stand for or be known for in our communities? If you have current community partners, asking your people to rate or rank those
partners might help you determine what your employees consider an effective community partner.
3. What Do Your Employees Care About?
You’ll definitely want to know what your employees’ interests and values are. What causes and pillars are they passionate about or do they already support? Employees are more likely to contribute to a cause they feel strongly about, so finding out their interests can help you create campaigns and select feature causes/events and volunteering opportunities that support your company culture and resonate with your employees.
4. How Would Your Employees be Most Willing to Participate?
You need to try to meet people at “their highest level of contribution”, which will be different for everyone. Find out what your employees interest level is and how they would most like to participate, and move
forward from there. What incentives would resonate? Differential matching rates, dollars for doers, peer recognition. Exploring rewards will help with design and successful execution.
5. What Features Would Encourage Them to Participate?
It would also be useful to know what kind of features your employees would use or be interested in. What keeps non-participants from participating? Would an open-choice program increase take-up? Volunteer rewards? Having them rank features in terms of ‘Nice-to-haves’ up to ‘Love-to-haves’ could help you evaluate what is most important when considering a service provider (if you’re looking). Social media, for example, may not seem at the top of the list, but if employees are into social media or gaming, these tools could help gain significant buy-in and spread the word about your program.
For any corporate giving program to be successful you need support. A workplace giving program should be reflective of a company’s culture and values, however, a program that is a collaborative effort can easily gain more employee engagement.