How Workplace Giving Can Inspire Employee Engagement

It’s not just about corporate charity partnerships or payroll deduction programs. These days, most employees want to be actively involved with giving back, in a meaningful way, in the workplace.

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Workplace giving is a win-win for businesses as well as the charities they support. But many employers overlook how it can positively impact their company culture.

While corporate philanthropy isn’t new, we’re starting to see a shift in how successful companies think about workplace giving. It’s not just about corporate charity partnerships or payroll deduction programs. Now, most employees want to be actively involved with giving back in the workplace.

Today’s top workplaces include giving back as a key part of their employee engagement strategy. Here’s why.

Workplace giving programs inspire employee engagement

Workplace giving promotes employee happiness and well-being

Have you ever felt a rush of joy after doing something kind? That’s called the “helper’s high.” As it turns out, doing good has all kinds of amazing benefits. Acts of kindness can help lower stress, increase well-being, and even help us live longer.

If employee health and well-being is important to your organization, then you shouldn't ignore the health benefits of doing good. The good news is that "giving back" doesn’t have to mean making huge sacrifices. Not everyone can afford to donate a large sum of money to charitable organizations, just like not everyone can run a marathon. 

Performing small acts of kindness together, as a team, can boost employee happiness while building a sense of community. It can also give employees a sense of pride to know that their employer is making a positive impact in their community.

One easy way to get your team involved is to encourage small acts of kindness. As part of a donation campaign for Make-a-Wish, Georgia’s Own Credit Union ran Cooleaf engagement challenges to bring their employees together. In one challenge, employees earned Cooleaf reward points by sharing messages of hope on social media to inspire Make-a-Wish children waiting for wishes.

By doing something that took less than five minutes, employees were able to make a positive impact. At the same time, they were helping to spread the word about the cause.

Team members participate in workplace giving by raising awareness for charities on social media
Georgia's Own employees earned Cooleaf points by posting a message to inspire Make-a-Wish children.

Workplace giving programs can reinforce your core values

How do you bring core values to life in your workplace? Are your values lived by employees, or do they simply sit on the wall?

Employees who believe in their organization’s mission and values are much more likely to go the extra mile at work. But encouraging employees to feel a personal connection to your core values is easier said than done.

If you want to demonstrate commitment to your core values, a workplace giving program is a great place to start. But what’s even more powerful is when employees are able to actively practice your core values.

When employees regularly give back or volunteer through their company, they’ll begin to see core values like “kindness” or “compassion” as a more than just words on a wall.

It’s important to make sure that the success of your program is broadcasted to employees, too. Often, the missing piece in workplace giving programs is that employees aren’t able to see the good they are doing firsthand. Using an engagement platform to share messages about the campaign can give employees visibility into the impact of their donations. This can help bring your values to life even more.

Cooleaf thank-you to employees who participated in the Make-a-Wish virtual giving campaign
Cooleaf publishes content and thank-you messages from charitable organizations so employees can see the impact of their donation firsthand.

By giving employees the opportunity to do good, you can help them relate to the values in a more personal way. 

Virtual giving campaigns are a great way to engage remote teams

There’s something uniquely powerful about getting together to do good. That’s why volunteer days and charity events are so popular: they’re a great way to bring employees together around a common cause. But what if your team is distributed and works remotely? Keeping remote employees engaged can be a challenge for many companies.

The good news is that remote teams can still experience all the benefits of workplace giving and volunteering. All it takes is a little creativity.

There are many ways to engage remote teams in volunteering or giving back. Here's just a few:

  • Start a virtual mentorship program
  • Support a local charity by ordering supplies on their Amazon wish list
  • Spread awareness for a charitable cause over social media
  • Run a virtual blood drive and encourage employees to donate blood

To get more people excited about your remote volunteering experience, try to find ways to make it fun. For example, you could create a competition to see which team members can get the most “shares,” or give a fun prize to the person who collects the most donations.

If the idea of creating your own virtual volunteering campaigns sounds like too much of a time commitment, you can always turn to an employee engagement platform which will design and run the campaign for you. Cooleaf helps bring teams together by creating fun virtual challenges that anyone can participate in.

Virtual activities to engage employees in workplace giving
Cooleaf creates "acts of kindness" challenges to engage remote teams while raising funds for Make-a-Wish GA.

A successful workplace giving program can boost employee morale, improve team-building, and help employees feel more connected to your core values. When employees give back to their communities, they’ll feel positive about themselves and the work they do. And that’s a win-win-win for everyone.

Interested in learning more about offering opportunities to give back? Cooleaf can help — let's chat!

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