Charitable giving boosts employee engagement: A win for everyone!
Engagement at work occurs when we find meaning, autonomy, growth, impact, and connection—MAGIC—in what we do, according to DecisionWise’s white paper on the subject.
These five elements, put together, can help to foster a greater sense of employee engagement.
The first ingredient, meaning, requires that employees’ ‘work has purpose beyond the job itself’. Autonomy means ‘the power to shape your work and environment in ways that allow you to perform your best’. Growth provides the opportunity to be ‘stretched and challenged in ways that result in personal and professional goals’. Achieving impact allows employees to see ‘positive and worthwhile outcomes and results for your work, while connection provides ‘the sense of belonging to something greater than yourself’.
All of these components can be fulfilled, at least to some extent, by providing employees with opportunities for charitable giving.
‘Meaning’, for example, is found when employees are able to be a part of the decision of how their company gives back to the community and feel that they are able to contribute to the company’s mission.
The feeling of having ‘impact’ is achieved when a company listens to their staff and turns their feedback or ideas into results. Employees can feel that their thoughts and words are making a real difference, whether that be the choice of beneficiary of the company’s charitable efforts or something simpler like the brand of coffee in the company kitchen.
‘Connection’ is made when employees can see the benefits of their input and effort, as they then feel connected to the community or people they’ve helped and often feel a further ‘connection’ to their colleagues, as they collectively chose the charity which received their donations and can feel that they have done something good, together.
Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School, said in his book that ‘the act of giving to support programs strengthens employee’s effective commitment to their organisation by enabling them to see themselves and the organisation in more prosocial, caring terms’. This boils down to the idea that if a company provides a means to give back, employees feel better both about themselves and about their employer.
At CBSbutler we strongly believe in both a fantastic company culture and giving back to the community, and charitable works allow us to build upon both of those premises. We encourage our staff to present any fundraising ideas they have and, more often than not, an event follows! Last year, for example, we held a ‘Quake Bake’ to raise funds for victims of the Nepalese Earthquake on the suggestion of one of our staff members whose wife is Nepalese, making the cause obviously one close to our hearts. Another staff member has a long standing relationship with the charity Action for Children, and suggested a gift drive for the children of one of their projects, which was very gratefully received and led to a wonderful evening of Christmas Carols, mince pies and general good cheer. Yet another one of our staff, who recruits for the Built Environment sector, rallied the whole office to get involved with last December’s Christmas Jumper Day, a fundraiser run by Crash, the construction and property industries’ charity for the homeless which aims to improve the living conditions of the homeless.
Ideas for a charity event can come from anywhere - one of our consultants recently made a visit to YMCA to discuss their recruitment needs, and came back to the office full of excitement for sponsored bike rides and skydives, in which members of our staff will be taking part in May and June this summer.
Companies whose staff are empowered to create charitable opportunities of their own and who are involved in the choice of beneficiary are more likely to experience higher levels of engagement, which means a happier, more productive staff. Everyone wins.