Employee engagement is generally defined as the emotional and functional commitment an employee has to achieving the mission of the organization. At most companies, there’s a lot of lip service paid to making sure employees are engaged. But have you ever wondered why? Have you thought about strategies companies can use to increase employee engagement?
Basic Facts about Employee Engagement
To better understand employee engagement, we turned to Dale Carnegie Training which has done extensive research into the topic. A few key insights include:
- When an employee is disengaged, there is a high likelihood that this individual will seek employment elsewhere.
- 71% of employees are not fully engaged.
- Companies with engaged employees outperform other companies by about 202%.
When employees feel a strong connection to their company, they are likely to be more engaged, and thus less likely to leave. Disengaged employees tend to view their job as nothing more than a paycheck.
So, how do you engage your employees?
There are four traits that engaged employees exhibit:
- They are inspired
- They are confident
- They are enthused
- They are empowered
While there is a wide array of actions a company can take to help its employees become more engaged, we’ll discuss one very important action in this article: corporate volunteer grants.
Corporate Volunteer Grants
Corporate volunteer grants are a type of giving program that encourages employees to volunteer in the communities in which they live and work. Employers provide monetary grants to eligible nonprofits whenever an employee takes time to volunteer.
These grants are generally paid out in two ways:
- A set rate per hour of volunteering (i.e. $10 per hour, with a minimum of 10 hours)
- A set rate once a certain volunteer threshold has been reached (i.e. $250 once an employee has volunteered 20 hours)
Of course it’s important to remember that these payment structures vary from company to company.
How will volunteer grants increase employee engagement?
It has been shown that employers that not only offer volunteer opportunities but also encourage and participate in them are more likely to have employees with the same shared sense of philanthropy.
Employees are proud to work for a company that involves itself in the community and are more likely to bring a good name to your business via volunteer activities.
- A study by Dale Carnegie surveyed 1,500 employees and found that 54% of employees who were proud of their company’s contributions to society were engaged.
- A Lloyd Morgan survey of 50,000 employees showed that by increasing employee engagement levels, organizations could expect an 87% reduction in employees’ probability of departure.
- A Deloitte survey suggests that 61% of millennials who rarely volunteer would still consider a company’s commitment to giving back to the community when evaluating job opportunities.
Group volunteer activities
Another good method of increasing employee engagement is to encourage group volunteerism.
Group volunteerism increases camaraderie amongst employees who may not usually speak to or see each other. It also increases employee engagement by producing a shared sense of purpose amongst coworkers.
Some companies take it a step further by providing grants when teams of employees volunteer together. It’s a great way for companies to support the organizations which employees are passionate about.
When companies implement programs like corporate volunteer grants and group volunteer activities, the most immediate benefit is that a local nonprofit has received the donations and time of individuals who deeply care about their causes.
However, the secondary benefit is that corporate volunteer grants can help boost employee engagement by producing a shared sense of purpose amongst employees and between them and the company.