want happier, more engaged employees? give back this season

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Corporate giving totalled $18.55 billion in 2016, up 3.5 percent from the previous year. Most people see the benefits of office giving, but as an employee-centric organization, we wanted to know how the people in the company felt about it.

O.C. Tanner recently surveyed over 1,000 employees at multiple companies across the U.S. to ask how they felt about corporate charitable giving around the holidays. The responses were encouraging:

Corporate giving improves company culture

Although improving culture means different things in different industries, one key for any company is helping employees feel connected to an organization’s purpose.

Charitable giving is not often a key focus for a company, but it should be — data from our recent research shows that organizing and promoting charitable office events can lead to enhanced employee engagement. For example, eighty-four percent of employees at companies that organized multiple holiday charitable events believe their organization has a clear purpose.

Employee motivation also sees an uptick when companies hold multiple holiday charity events: 71 percent of employees who work at companies that organize multiple holiday charitable events believe the purpose of their organization motivates them to do their best work. By organizing and offering charitable opportunities in the holiday season, companies can help employees align with their corporate purpose and mission.

People are happier at their jobs when they work for generous companies

Happier and more engaged employees benefit the company in lots of ways, including increased productivity, better relationships with supervisors and improved corporate growth. For those leaders who must focus on profit and loss statements, yes, happier employees even benefit the bottom line.

Thirty-seven percent of our survey respondents felt more connected to the culture when their company organized charitable events. The impact on morale was even stronger: 57 percent believed the charitable events made for happier teams.

As more companies focus on building culture and increasing employee appreciation, they should consider occasionally turning their focus outward. Giving employees an opportunity to help others as a company helps organizations build value and purpose for their teams.

Other key findings from the responses include the following:

  • Over half of the respondents noted that their place of employment organizes charitable events for employees to participate in during the winter holiday season (e.g., Sub for Santa, group volunteering at a local homeless shelter, etc.)
    • 36 percent noted that their company has multiple events
    • 15 percent noted that their company has one event
    • 29 percent noted that their company didn’t have any events
    • 20 percent weren’t sure
  • Those who work at organizations that host charitable events for employees to participate in during the winter holiday season are more aligned with their company’s purpose.
    • Those who believe their organization has a clear purpose:
      • Multiple holiday charitable events: 84 percent
      • One holiday charitable event: 72 percent
      • No holiday charitable events: 62 percent
    • Those who believe their organization’s purpose motivates them to do their best work:
      • Multiple holiday charitable events: 71 percent
      • One holiday charitable event: 54 percent
      • No holiday charitable events: 47 percent
    • Those who say they fully support the values for which their organization stands:
      • Multiple holiday charitable events: 78 percent
      • One holiday charitable event: 65 percent
      • No holiday charitable events: 50 percent
    • 37 percent of respondents noted that they feel more connected to their company culture when they have charitable events
    • 57 percent of respondents think that these types of charitable events have a significant positive impact on company morale

About the research:

For this group of survey feedback, O.C. Tanner partnered with ResearchNow to obtain approximately 250 responses per week to continuously validate their ongoing Talent Magnet’s research. They balance the respondents to reflect the U.S. workforce (respondents are U.S.-based). For this particular survey, they collected data in October 2017, obtaining 1,020 responses.

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