The importance of employee engagement, which is defined as the emotional and functional commitment an employee has to their organization, cannot be overstated. According to Gallup, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%.
As we discuss in another article, engaged employees are also happier, stay with companies longer, and are more philanthropically minded.
While the benefits are clear, employee engagement is a struggle for most companies, with over 71% of employees reporting that they are not fully engaged.
One effective way your company can increase employee engagement is through corporate giving. When companies offer accessible ways for employees to get involved in philanthropic endeavors, whether that’s through matching gifts, corporate volunteerism, or other forms of nonprofit support, employees will be more likely to participate. This in turn boosts their engagement level.
In this article, we’ll discuss some basics of employee engagement and dive into how you can use corporate giving programs to increase your employees’ engagement. This includes:
- Three Key Drivers of Employee Engagement
- How Companies Can Increase Employee Engagement
- Using Corporate Philanthropy to Increase Employee Engagement
- How to Implement or Enhance Your Corporate Giving Program
- Driving Employee Engagement with Matching Gift Auto-Submission
- Conclusion: Why Corporate Giving Programs are a Win-Win for Everyone
Three Key Drivers of Employee Engagement
It’s said that employees don’t leave companies; they leave people, and it’s true. Many of the reasons employees claim they aren’t engaged in their company have to do with people.
Let’s take a look at these statistics and the key drivers behind employee engagement:
- Employees’ relationships with their direct managers: 80% of employees who were dissatisfied with their direct manager were disengaged.
- Employees’ belief in senior leadership: 70% of employees who lack confidence in the abilities of senior leadership are not fully engaged.
- Employees’ pride in working for the company: 54% of employees who are proud of their company’s contributions to society are engaged.
Offering corporate giving programs can have a positive impact on all three drivers of engagement. When leadership takes an interest in corporate philanthropy and makes a point to focus on how the company can help the community, employees tend to view this in a positive light.
How Companies Can Increase Employee Engagement
There are many strategies companies can use to increase employee engagement. Dale Carnegie highlights five great reasons to do so, and we’ve added a few ideas that our own research has shown enhances employee engagement:
- Senior leadership must articulate a clear vision to all employees. Without a clear goal, employees will not know what they’re working toward.
- Employees should be encouraged to openly communicate and influence the company’s vision with their input.
- Direct managers should foster healthy relationships with their employees.
- Senior leadership should continuously demonstrate that employees have an impact on their work environment.
- Managers should show employees that they are valued as true contributors, giving them a sense of empowerment.
- Managers should organize and encourage team volunteerism in communities as a way of giving back and encouraging social interaction outside the office.
- Companies should give back to local nonprofits. Corporate giving programs, like matching gift programs and volunteer grants, are a great way for corporations to support organizations that employees care about.
Management and senior leadership should take a hands-on approach to encouraging employees to engage with these opportunities at their company. Now that we’ve covered the basics of employee engagement, let’s jump into corporate giving specifically.
Using Corporate Philanthropy to Increase Employee Engagement
Keeping employees engaged and helping the community at the same time seems like a pretty great deal, right? That’s why many companies are investing in corporate social responsibility (CSR) to help improve the communities in which their employees live and work.
One major component of CSR is corporate philanthropy, and within that, there are several corporate giving programs companies can offer. When employees participate in those programs, this enhances their view of the company and gives them an opportunity to help nonprofit organizations that they care about.
In order to boost employee engagement, companies can:
- Offer matching gift programs. Nearly two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies offer a matching gift program that makes employees’ charitable contributions go twice as far. Matching gift programs help engage employees by showing them that the company not only encourages donating, but takes part in it as well. Employees can feel proud knowing their employer gives back.
- Encourage volunteerism. Whether a company offers paid time off for employees to volunteer or encourages employees to team up and participate in fundraising events, employee engagement can skyrocket when volunteerism is part of a company’s philanthropic culture. Allowing employees to band together to better the community helps them feel like the company supports them and will boost their dedication.
- Offer volunteer grants. Volunteer grants are donations that companies make to nonprofits after an employee has volunteered for a certain amount of time. Volunteer grants demonstrate a company’s commitment to helping worthy causes and instills a shared sense of philanthropy among employees, boosting engagement and satisfaction.
When companies support the causes their employees care about, this helps strengthen the relationship between not just the company and its employees, but also between the company and the nonprofits they help. All of these effects come together to create a positive reputation for the company, happy employees, and a better community.
How to Implement or Enhance Your Corporate Giving Program
When it comes to corporate giving, managing your program can be overwhelming. After all, if your company offers a matching gift or volunteer grant program, you’ll need to track each employee donation and volunteer hour, as well as the requests that come through for matches or grants.
Corporate giving software for companies is an effective option that many corporations already take advantage of. These solutions allow companies to manage workplace giving, matching gifts, volunteer opportunities, and more.
For example, the right corporate giving solution equips your company to:
- Set up and view employee donations, such as automatic payroll deductions.
- Review and/or automatically approve matching gift requests.
- List volunteer opportunities for employees.
- Track employee volunteer hours.
- Manage and approve volunteer grant requests.
Whether you’re setting up a new corporate giving program or trying to build on what you already have, corporate giving software can help you get the most out of your program. After all, the easier it is for employees to log in and participate, the more engagement you’ll get in the long run.
If you’re looking to get started with corporate giving or improve and better manage your company’s philanthropic programing, working with a software provider will allow you to incorporate all of the recommendations above and begin seeing real results as soon as possible.
Driving Employee Engagement with Matching Gift Auto-Submission
In order to maximize employee engagement through philanthropy, a company must first determine how it can get its workforce on board with the programs it establishes. For that reason, it’s essential that your corporate giving programs be as easy as possible for team members to participate.
That’s where auto-submission comes in! Matching gifts are one of the most popular forms of corporate philanthropy—but tons of companies’ programs are underutilized due to overly complicated donation and request processes.
To overcome this obstacle, we already mentioned that equipping your team with dedicated workplace giving software can go a long way. But there’s another key feature offered only by select CSR management platforms that is revolutionizing the way that companies, their employees, and the nonprofits they support are participating in philanthropy—and that is matching gift auto-submission.
When a company enables auto-submission through its workplace giving platform, the process looks like this:
- An employee donates to their favorite nonprofit as usual, providing the name of their company when prompted on the organization’s giving page.
- Upon completing their donation, the employee is directed to a gift confirmation screen, where they’re informed that their donation is eligible for a corporate match.
- The employee enters their email address on the confirmation screen to verify their gift and authorize Double the Donation to submit a matching gift request on their behalf.
- The matching gift request is processed behind the scenes (with no additional steps from the employee), and the corporate match is disbursed to the organization the employee supports!
This streamlined experience automates a number of steps in the traditional process—ultimately allowing donors to skip past and complete their submissions with new levels of ease. At the same time, it removes several critical roadblocks (such as having to log into a separate platform and provide specific donation details) that often result in abandoned matches.
The end result? Higher levels of participation in the programs—and, thus, elevated employee engagement—that lead to significant returns on the company’s initial investment.
Conclusion: Why Corporate Giving Programs are a Win-Win for Everyone
In summary, there are many benefits of incorporating giving programs like matching gifts, volunteer grants, and volunteerism. These include:
- Employees getting to experience an enjoyable and rewarding team-building event.
- The corporation giving back to the community.
- The corporation’s reputation in the community being enhanced through positive press coverage and other channels.
- The nonprofits receiving volunteer support and/or additional funding.
While there are a multitude of ways to increase employee engagement, utilizing corporate giving programs can be one of the most beneficial options for employees, companies, and nonprofits alike.
Additional Employee Engagement & Corporate Giving Resources
If you’re interested in learning more about corporate giving and employee engagement, we’ve compiled some excellent resources for you:
- Corporate Giving Programs: The Ultimate Fundraising Guide. Want to learn the basics around corporate giving programs? Check out our ultimate guide!
- Corporate Philanthropy: The Ultimate Guide to Giving. Corporate philanthropy is huge these days. Learn more about it with our comprehensive guide.
- Employee Engagement: The Essential Guide. If you’re just getting started with employee engagement for your company, we’ve broken it down here!