The “Great Resignation” is upon us, which sounds a bit ominous (and it is). Companies have no choice but to find authentic approaches to engaging and retaining their employees — or risk losing them. As PwC reports, 65% of Americans are currently looking for new jobs. So how can companies ensure they’re the kind of employer people want to work for, or don’t want to leave in the first place?

 

With more people turning to their workplaces as sources of hope and action, organizations can't get away with simply saying the right thing - they must do the right thing and demonstrate an authentic commitment to purpose. And as employee retention becomes a critical concern, meaningful corporate purpose programs have emerged as a highly effective solution. 

With more people turning to their workplaces as sources of hope and action, organizations can’t get away with simply saying the right thing — they must do the right thing and demonstrate an authentic commitment to purpose. 

Our latest Benevity Impact Labs report — The Best of the Best in Employee Engagement: An Inside Look at the Characteristics of the Most (and Least!) Engaging Corporate Purpose Programs — will show you how top-performing purpose-driven companies engage their people in doing good. Using data from 409 companies representing 9.7 million people, we identify the most powerful strategies that drive successful employee programs.

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The Best of the Best in Employee Engagement

There’s never been a better time to refresh your employee engagement program to ensure it is working as hard as it can for you and your people. Employees who are actively engaged in giving and volunteering through work are 57% less likely to leave their jobs, leading to better retention of talent and skills, reduced recruitment costs and enhanced business continuity for companies and their customers.

Employees who are actively engaged in giving and volunteering through work are 57% less likely to leave their jobs

Here’s a high-level look at the five most powerful drivers to creating a successful employee engagement program. For a deeper dive into the why, what and how for each driver, read The Best of the Best in Employee Engagement. This report also provides insight into program design for companies of all sizes, so no matter your size, scale or scope, you’ll be able to design an effective corporate purpose program.

Give Your Employees More Choice

One of the most successful ways to drive employee engagement in your program is to provide your people with more choice in where they give and volunteer. In our report, the data shows that the more types of causes that are available to employees through your program, the more likely they are to participate.

In our report, the data shows that the more types of causes that are available to employees through your program, the more likely they are to participate.

Casting a wider net is a perfect way to allow people to contribute to the causes they care about and would support in their personal lives. This is especially true when it comes to international organizations that may not be registered in your home country, as well as religious and education-based organizations. These types of causes tend to be more personal, and when people can support them through work, they feel a closer connection to their employer and colleagues.

Make Participation Easier

Reducing friction points and making your corporate purpose program easier to engage with is an important driver of success. As with any technology, the more barriers there are, the less likely people are to participate. One way to mitigate those barriers is to enable as many features and make your program as inclusive as possible. This makes it especially impactful when people want to respond to an urgent call for giving or volunteerism.

Our data also shows that one of the simplest and most effective ways to minimize friction points is to enable payroll giving, which allows your people to donate to their favorite causes directly from their paycheck. Research also suggests that some people embrace giving out of their future income more readily than out of their current funds.

Incentivize Your People To Do Good

Providing rewards through your employee engagement program shows employees that you support the causes that matter to them. It fosters a sense of connection between companies and employees, and encourages people to give through their corporate programs rather than outside of them. This can amplify an individual’s impact and create social movements among colleagues.

In our research, two approaches surfaced as strong ways to incorporate rewards into your program: account seeding, where companies provide their employees with donation currency, and volunteer rewards, where companies can match an employee’s volunteer time with a donation amount.

Focus on Leadership and Communication

While all these things are important to generating participation, it is not enough to turn on features and await success. An influential component in successful programs is leadership and communication, which can be bolstered through features like company-created giving opportunities.

When program leaders create and promote giving opportunities, it gives people confidence they’re supporting vetted, trustworthy causes. Leaders can also help their people and their programs by encouraging user-generated giving opportunities, which give people a chance to bring their own causes to the table and create movements of support among their colleagues, creating more connection and impact.

Match Your Employees’ Giving Efforts

The fifth and final most powerful way that companies design successful employee engagement programs? Matching! Our study shows that, while most companies match giving to some degree, the extent to which they match is directly correlated to program participation.

And matching can include more than just matching your employees’ donations. You can introduce Peer Matching into your program, which enables employees to match their coworkers’ donations and amplify the impact even further, spreading a culture of Goodness and a shared sense of meaning.

Time To Design Your Employee Engagement Program!

As companies struggle to attract, retain, engage their people, and as more is expected of them to do the right thing, and to enable their employees to do the same, a top-drawer employee engagement program allows them to accomplish it all.

To get practical strategies for how they can ensure their engagement program is strong, download The Best of the Best in Corporate Purpose: An Inside Look at the Characteristics of the Most (and Least!) Engaging Employee Engagement Programs now. Learn from the world’s most purpose-driven brands and get real-world data on how they’re designing corporate purpose programs that drive real impact.

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