When people think of corporate philanthropy, they often think of big names like JPMorgan Chase, but even small business can and should get involved with charitable giving. Philanthropy does not mean donating millions of dollars. Much lesser amounts can be meaningful to local community organizations, as can simple donations of time or skills.
Furthermore, giving back to the community has benefits beyond helping out those in need. Charitable work can bring teams together and make them feel more fulfilled with their work. This, in turn, can improve how a company operates. Some of the benefits for employees of engaging in charitable work include:
Employees want to be proud of the work that they do and the people for whom they do it. Corporate pride has a direct correlation with employee engagement. When employees feel proud of their companies, they are more productive and driven to succeed. Employee engagement often means lower turnover rates.
Numerous factors contribute to the overall culture at a company, but community involvement and charitable giving have a big impact. Company owners should not underestimate the power of charitable efforts to increase pride in employees and make them feel like they are part of something bigger. This drive has become increasingly important because of millennials, who are making up a bigger percentage of the workforce every day, and who are more likely to expect companies to give back than prior generations.
A stronger sense of ethics.
Sometimes, company names appear in the headlines because of unethical behavior. Customers pay close attention to the ethics of the companies they support and will often accept higher prices from companies that do good in the world. The foundation of an ethical business is ethical employees. Charitable efforts can play a large role in the development of a strong sense of ethics among employees.
An old adage exists that says “do good, be good.” This saying applies perfectly here. Engaging with the community through philanthropy shows employees that they are part of a larger ecosystem and that their individual decisions have an impact.
Employees who are pleased with the corporate culture in their workplaces come to work with high morale. While morale can drive productivity, it is important to also think of morale in terms of commitment. People who are committed to their jobs are less likely to be tardy, call out sick, or take extended breaks throughout the course of the day.
Part of the improvement to morale that develops as a result of corporate philanthropy is facilitated by the teambuilding opportunities that it provides. When people work together toward a goal, whether it is donating a certain number of hours to a local organization or raising a certain amount of money, they see how effective their efforts are. This sense of camaraderie translates to the work that employees do.
Too often, people in companies – even small ones – only interact with people in their department and their immediate superiors. This fact can breed an us-versus-them mentality even within a single company. However, charity work is a great way for people to meet other employees and act alongside executives on an even playing field.
When an entry-level employee works on a charity project with a C-level executive, both individuals can get to know the person behind the employee. This facilitates a greater sense of connection and a stronger sense of solidarity. The resulting feeling of togetherness can lead to an improved corporate culture marked by greater respect for all employees. In the end, communication benefits, and everything starts to run more effectively.
More networking opportunities.
One of the benefits of corporate philanthropy is the free marketing that it often provides. However, it is important to also recognize that community engagement provides endless opportunities for networking. Employees who volunteer or fundraise make important community contacts and meet individuals at the charities they support.
This networking can help businesses expand in the future and can also boost the careers of individual employees. Often, businesses team with nearby companies, which provides even more opportunities for networking. Creating contacts with everyone from retailers to medical providers can end up benefiting the company in unique and unseen ways in the long run.
While individuals may not at first associate gratitude with their work environments, gratitude is an important and strong emotion that can radically change people’s points of view. Within the workplace, those who feel gratitude toward their superiors and the company as a whole tend to be more open emotionally. This means they build stronger connections to their coworkers. Grateful employees are also less likely to quit.
Modern workers generally want to give back to their communities. These individuals are often grateful to be given the opportunity to engage in philanthropy within the workplace, whether or not it spurs additional charitable work outside of their place of employment. Incorporating positive experiences, such as philanthropy, into the work environment makes people happy.