Elena Zambetti Posts

What 2015 Taught Us About Improving Employee Engagement

Employee engagement and culture issues are the number one human resources challenge for companies according to Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends study. More than 85% of respondents cite this challenge as “important,” including 50% who say it is “very important.” But for all the recent buzz around employee engagement, misconceptions around the true meaning of the term are still common.

A Forbes contributor defines employee engagement as the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. But on corporate employee engagement strategies, Gallup Business Journal contributors note, “Many make the mistake of prioritizing the easy, shiny stuff — hip office space, remote work arrangements, and inventive benefits — over the elements that will strengthen emotional ties and connect employees more deeply to their managers, teams, and companies.”

This may be part of the reason why a low 13% of employees worldwide are engaged.

 

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Gallup estimates that employees who fall into the “not engaged” and “actively disengaged” categories collectively cost $319 to $398 billion annually in the U.S. alone. And two important CSR target groups, managers and millennials, have low levels of engagement: Millennials, who are set to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2030, are the least engaged generation, and only 35% of managers are engaged in their jobs.

Implementing strategies that reach the individual emotional level can be a logistical challenge, especially for global companies with diverse workforces. Luckily, with companies’ increased prioritization of employee engagement, there has been a flood of research on the topic.

Here are 3 ways companies can bridge the divide:

1. Recognize your employees, with a focus on values-based recognition

The O.C. Tanner Institute finds that recognition has a direct impact on causing great work, increasing engagement, encouraging innovation and productivity, improving trust and manager relationships, and attracting and retaining talent. In particular, HR leaders and practitioners reported in the 2015 SHRM/Globoforce Survey that values-based recognition programs significantly contribute to bottom-line organizational metrics – engagement, retention, safety, wellness, employer brand, and even cost controls – and help employers create a stronger culture and more human workplace.

EMC, a global leader in information technology as a service, has aligned its recognition program with its overall CSR strategy. Each month, new hires and employees celebrating a service anniversary are sent a $25 GlobalGiving e-gift card that can be redeemed in support of global projects aligned with EMC’s Giving Back strategy supporting causes such as education, food, water, and disaster relief.

2. Offer year-round workplace giving opportunities

For the past three years, the America’s Charities Snapshot Series has tracked changes in workplace-centered philanthropy and employee engagement. Snapshot 2015 – The New Corporate DNA: Where Employee Engagement and Social Impact Converge finds dramatic shifts in employee-giving models from past years. This year, almost two-thirds (60%) of corporate respondents say they offer year-round opportunities for employees to give.

In 3BL Media’s webinar on the report, Heather Lofkin Wright, Director of Corporate Responsibility at PwC US spoke to this change, “There’s no shortage of experiences, news items, interactions that move someone to want to give back. And we as a corporate entity are not in the position to put a time frame on that. So having things available 365 days a year for our people to do is really critical for giving through the workplace to be a significant onramp and opportunity that our people will take advantage of.”

3. Provide your employees with skills-based/pro-bono volunteering opportunities

The BCCCC’s 2015 Community Involvement Study found that among companies that measure the connection between volunteering and employee engagement, 89% found a positive correlation between participation and high engagement scores. Company representatives also report that volunteering helps to establish positive brand within operating communities and displays organizational values in action.

Tech companies are increasingly encouraging their employees to volunteer tech skills to organizations that lack proper funds and staff. For example, the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Advising program allows HPE employees to offer their professional expertise and advice to nonprofits and entrepreneurs at no cost. In the past, HPE employees have helped in a variety of key business areas, including branding and marketing, IT, business planning, managing staff, and recruiting volunteers. Through its partnership with GlobalGiving, HPE has been able to provide support to more than 200 international nonprofits.

Rethinking your employee engagement strategy in 2016? Reach out to our Business Partnerships Team to learn what other companies are doing to build a more motivated workforce: https://www.globalgiving.org/companies/contact-us/ 

CHIME FOR CHANGE: Takeaways from a successful girls and women campaign

Picture2In the world of philanthropy, the conversation around girls and women continues to pick up steam. Recent articles by Bill Gates and the NoVo Foundation highlight the importance of empowering girls and women, and here at GlobalGiving we’ve seen a spike in corporate interest in the topic.

We’ve learned a lot from running campaigns on this topic, like the highly successful CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign, founded by Gucci and partners Salma Hayek Pinault & Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Here are five things that have made this cause marketing effort stand out.

 1. Relevant Theme                                     

When Gucci and its partners launched CHIME FOR CHANGE, there was a clear connection between the business and the campaign’s focus on education, health, and justice for girls and women. They chose to support a cause their customers and ambassadors can easily connect with and join, which increases any campaign’s chance for success.

Key Takeaway: It should go without saying that the cause a company decides to champion should be relevant to its business. Marketing an unfocused idea that leaves the public wondering “Why?”  can be a costly distraction that won’t do much to benefit your cause, so double and triple check that the focus is intuitive to your audience and relevant to your business.

2. Global Reach, Local Impact

When CHIME  first launched with Catapult, and subsequently partnered with GlobalGiving, Gucci and its partners were looking for locally-driven projects they could impact through the campaign. Focusing on their chosen themes of education, health, and justice for girls and women, we’re using our expertise in crowdfunding and international vetting to source local projects from around the world to be featured on the CHIME FOR CHANGE website. Through its efforts to date, the campaign has raised more than $7 million to fund more than 420 projects run by 144 nonprofit partners in 88 countries. 

Key Takeaway: It may seem daunting to go global and local at the same time — from reputational risk to tax law, there’s a lot to consider. Luckily, there are organizations that have expertise in navigating the international nonprofit sphere and measuring local impact. They do it so you don’t have to and so your company isn’t left behind in the race to be both global and local with giving.  

3. Share Stories of Impact

Telling stories has been central to the CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign. From Erin Helfert’s triumph in gaining a conviction in her rape case in Moroccan court to Razia Jaweed’s journey in learning to speak upwww.chimeforchange.org features stories of women who have been empowered to make changes in their lives and communities. Managing Editor Mariane Pearl explains: “Their stories are shaping a different story for mankind, a new narrative built from the heart and made of hope.”

Key Takeaway: With so many great causes around the world worth supporting, we all wish we could just say “Please help!” and that would be enough to mobilize the world. But let’s be honest: in the fight for the global consciousness, persistent humanitarian issues don’t have it easy. Using stories can help you draw emotional connections with your audience, making your cause feel more personal and real. For tips on how to tell a great story, visit http://stillmotionblog.com/storyfirst/.

4. Help Me Help You

On the CHIME website, users aren’t in danger of clicking themselves into a confused frenzy trying to figure out how they can be a part of the cause. The first thing you see on the homepage is a Take Action link that, when clicked, prompts you to either #CHIMEIN on Facebook or Twitter or donate to support a project. Powered by GlobalGiving’s API services, anyone can easily donate to featured projects such as “Help Young Women Rebuild Nepal” or “Healing for Sexual Violence Survivors in Colombia.”

Key Takeaway: “This story really hit home for me. How can I help?”  If there’s one question any cause marketing manager can expect from the public, it’s this. Just take a look at the comments section of this recent New York Times piece. Readers were touched by the compelling story of a mother separated from her son and wanted to know how to take action. Don’t make your audience do the heavy lifting. You’ve already inspired them to want to help your cause, so all that’s left is to give them an easy way to do it. 

5. Demand the Spotlight, and Keep it Alive

CHIME FOR CHANGE certainly didn’t waste time waiting for the spotlight to fall on their campaign. Team CHIME has been busy since the start using a variety of mediums to reach different target audiences.  Just last week it was announced that CHIME has partnered with Global Citizen to present the September 2015 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park.  As a result, a tremendous amount of attention is being paid to the issues surrounding girls and women worldwide. How do they do it?

  • Earning the support of leading celebrity women like co-founders Salma Hayek and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
  • Launching global events like the Sound of Change Live Concert Event, which featured performers like Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding and John Legend, and the upcoming Global Citizen Festival®
  • Features on the world stage at prestigious gatherings like TEDWomen and International Women’s Day.
  • Harnessing the power of technology to drive change by launching Twitter campaigns like #CHIMEHACK and recent #CHIMEHACK 2.

Key Takeaway: Build it and they will come…right? Not so much.  During a time when the public is constantly bombarded with information, commanding the attention of your audience is crucial. Take a leaf out of CHIME’s book by trying different modes of communication to reach a broader audience.

 

To donate to a project through CHIME FOR CHANGE or learn more about the campaign’s work with girls and women, visit: www.chimeforchange.org

If you need help with your cause marketing campaign give GlobalGiving a call at 877.605.2314 or visit us at: www.GlobaGiving.org/corporate-partners