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Employee Retention Is Important. Here’s How Corporate Giving Can Help.

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship Investment / April 28, 2022
Can corporate giving practices play a role in contributing to employee retention in the face of The Great Resignation. Yes...and here's how.

The Great Resignation has taken on many forms as it’s shown no sign of slowing down going from 2021 to 2022. Highfalutin’ workers have used the shake-up to job hop and underpaid employees have stopped showing up to sub-par jobs. Everyone is on the move looking for new, better, more satisfying employment. None of these trends seems at all related to corporate giving practices…right?

Not so fast.

Our current state of affairs has made topics such as recruitment and retention priorities for employers everywhere. Pay has risen accordingly and many are re-evaluating their benefits packages. While offering a more personally beneficial package is great, though, if leaders want to attract and retain talent, they need to think bigger.

Here are a few reasons to seriously re-evaluate your organization’s corporate giving initiatives to see if they’re helping or hindering your employment efforts.

The Positives and Negatives of Corporate Giving

It’s easy to look at corporate giving — or any kind of giving, for that matter — as a net positive. After all, your company is funneling a portion of its hard-won profits toward a nonprofit entity or a group that is in need.

It’s true that helping the less fortunate is always important, but the way that a company goes about this process can undermine one of the primary reasons for giving as a corporation: cultivating loyalty within your workforce.

Aligning Corporate Giving with Workers

At the end of the day, giving on a corporate level has a few major objectives. Brand awareness and public image are obvious factors.

However, there are internal elements, as well. The way your company supports others can have a major influence on how your employees view their employer.

This makes it essential that a business donates to charities that align with the general interests of their employees. An example of how this could go wrong could be a financial firm with an aging workforce choosing an edgy nonprofit that helps Gen Zers launch their own businesses.

As great as the initiative might be on paper, the message that this sends doesn’t align with the interests of the workers.

A good example of well-aligned corporate giving could be a company with a young, ambitious workforce donating to an environmental wellness group. Sustainability is a high priority for younger workers, and seeing their employer invest in their own future would be an excellent message to send.

Giving the Right Way as a Corporation

The way that a corporation gives is also important.

For example, as a company, you might choose to support a nonprofit that digs wells for underprivileged communities in Africa.

Even if this aligns with the active interests of your workforce, though, the organization that you choose is also very important. If you give large sums of money to a group that you haven’t vetted well, and it turns out that they have squandered or misused the funds, it will once again send a poor message.

Instead, take the time to carefully consider each charitable organization that you choose to work with.

How to Reassess Your Corporate Giving

If you feel that your corporate giving may not be synced up with your employees’ collective interests, there are a few things you can do about it.

One of the best ways to ensure that your corporate giving lines up with what your employees want is by asking them. Don’t be afraid to inquire about what causes pique the interests and passions of your workers.

You can offer them surveys of potential charities or even ask them to submit suggestions. As you do so, look for themes that arise. Or, if there are multiple suggestions for the same organization, consider choosing that one.

The other option is to let your staff take the wheel when it comes to corporate giving. Philanthropy-as-a-service platform Groundswell suggests letting employees drive your CSR as a powerful way to evolve your corporate giving in real-time.

Traditionally, giving on a corporate level is slow and bureaucratic. Decentralizing the activity can make it much more effective.

Finding What Works and Tweaking as Needed

If you already have established giving initiatives, at the least make sure to reassess the organizations that you’re working with.

Look for any changes in leadership or focus since you began the relationship. See if you can receive updates on how they are using your donations. Make sure to share these with your employees.

As a final suggestion, don’t just re-evaluate your corporate giving now and call it a day. The Great Resignation is shaking things up over the long term. As workers reassess their priorities, companies need to continue to court their interests.

Schedule regular times throughout the year to revisit your corporate giving initiatives. Review them and see if they still align with your employees. If not, make adjustments as needed.

You can update and maintain your corporate giving so that it aligns with your employees. As a result, it can become a valuable tool as you look for ways to beat out the competition. Use it to win the race to recruit and retain the best talent.

About The Author

Kimberly Zhang

Editor in Chief of Under30CEO. I have a passion for helping educate the next generation of leaders.

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