Why Caring is Good for the Community, and Good for Business

We all want to find a sense of purpose in what we do. Companies that are committed to giving back stand out as employers people want to work for.

We spend more time at work now, than we ever have. For many of us, where we work is about so much more than a simple employer-employee relationship – we have a growing desire to derive a sense of a greater purpose from our job. When we consider that the average person will change jobs between ten to fifteen times during their career, it is clear that we are no longer settling for ‘wherever we can get a job’. We are increasingly empowered to be more choosey about where we work. We are developing stronger feelings about what sort of employer we identify with, what sort of employer will allow us to connect our careers and personal values, and what sort of employer we can feel proud to work for.

People want to work for the good guys.

There is growing evidence of the business benefits of investing in social responsibility programs such as a workplace giving and staff volunteering. An organisation’s commitment to social responsibility activities is a critical factor in attracting and retaining high quality employees. A 2012 Net Impact Report found that 35 per cent of workers would take a 15 per cent pay cut to work for a company committed to social responsibility, and 58 per cent would take a 15 per cent pay cut to work for an organisation with values that reflected their own.

What does the cost/benefit equation look like for an organisation to introduce a workplace giving and volunteering program for staff? Set up and maintenance costs of a program like this are minimal, and are particularly low relative to the benefits gained. There are immeasurable gains for the organisation’s public reputation as a socially conscious employer, improved productivity from a boosted staff morale, and increased social capital from an improved corporate social responsibility profile. Being known as an organisation that is committed to social impact and change is a strong point of differentiation in a crowded market.

Setting up a workplace giving program demonstrates to employees that social awareness and being part of social change are part of the organisation’s core values. Employees see that senior management lead by example and understand that giving is just ‘what we do’.