Research indicates that companies with high levels of employee engagement enjoy a significant increase in productivity and general well-being, which leads to increased profitability and stability for their company.
So what does it take to engage your workforce and ensure a positive sentiment towards your business?
“Business is changing. It’s being shaped by a more consciously aware generation that wants to have a positive impact on society,” says Andy Hadfield, CEO of online social platform forgood. “Millennials especially want the purpose of business to include addressing problems in society and they want to feel that they are making a difference to the world around them.”
According to Mind the Gaps: The 2015 Deloitte Millennial Study, the millennial generation are just as interested in how a business develops, and its contribution to society, as they are in products and profits.
How to engage
“One way in which you can engage your employees and address their need for meaning or accomplishment is by creating a well-managed employee volunteering programme, that benefits the community that you operate in,” says Hadfield.
Volunteer programmes are perceived to add value to the recruitment, retention, training, development, loyalty and overall satisfaction of staff. The Deloitte study echoes this finding, with six in ten millennials stating a 'sense of purpose' as part of the reason they chose to work for their current employers.
Besides the operational benefit and the feel good factor for employees, volunteer hours can be incorporated into a company’s CSI mandate, which contributes to its B-BBEE ratings. For this it is essential for the HR department to keep an up to date register of the charities and the hours spent volunteering.
Link with causes
forgood has created an online platform which links causes with individuals and groups who are looking to contribute. The platform helps businesses run a successful and innovative employee volunteering and donation programme.
All causes subscribed to forgood are vetted to ensure they meet NPO criteria. By asking for goods or services on forgood, causes are able to indicate exactly what they need and individuals are able to advertise what they can offer, including specialised skills and abilities. This creates meaningful connections between the staff of a company and the social sector they choose to target.
The platform also offers business functionality that allows companies to manage their internal CSI campaigns and reports on staff activity through these mechanics.