It’s firmly established that cause partnerships can have a positive impact on employee engagement by giving employees an opportunity to support an important cause or social issue. Although economic unknowns on the horizon may impact the progress nonprofits have made, companies must continue to provide employees with opportunities to engage with the causes they’re passionate about. Here are a few ways we see cause partnerships shaping employee engagement programs this year.
Employee engagement has become the most universal type of nonprofit/corporate partnership activity, with 90% of companies supporting it. Understand what employees want, why companies are listening, and ways nonprofits can take the lead.
We’ve tracked corporate partnership trends for more than a decade and over the last year, we’ve seen that stakeholders have higher expectations of companies and their cause platforms across the board. Let’s dive into key learnings, including how corporate partnership decision makers are reacting to increased pressures and the motivations behind their decision making.
Employee engagement programs are now a must-have. We dive into three key trends in employee engagement based on the latest data. Employees who have moved offsite either part or all of the time still want their companies to provide volunteer opportunities. Companies also want volunteer opportunities to continue with hybrid work because they’ve proved to promote productivity, job satisfaction and team connectivity.
We know how a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) can help their front-facing image, but as we continue to see the future of work evolve, we’re seeing corporations begin to embrace the benefits a solid CSR program can have on employee engagement.
When companies provide employees with a variety of options for their direct involvement in corporate social responsibility initiatives, they have an even greater opportunity to positively affect engagement. 75% of companies offering giving and volunteering have two times more employee engagement than companies only offering giving or only offering volunteering.
As we move forward and adapt to the “next normal,” we predict a permanent shift in cause partnerships and social impact in the year ahead built on the hard lessons of 2020. Take a look at our predictions based on the wisdom gained from our work with top nonprofits and corporate partners over the last year. We hope our insights will help you develop the deeper partnerships needed to maximize your impact in 2021.
In early March, as we all faced the beginning of the pandemic, we shared the cause partnership advice we were giving our clients. The advice still holds true today. Be flexible and creative, engage in open dialogue, demonstrate your changing impact, be authentic and keep relationships strong. Over eight months of profound change later, we continue to work alongside nonprofits and companies to support their rebound and set them up for partnership success and growth long term.
One small silver lining from pandemic and social injustice crises is an increased investment in ERG’s, giving them a seat at the table when it comes to making cause and social impact partnership decisions. Even though ERG’s have been around since the 1970’s (and likely before), many exist despite inconsistent resources or even a consistent strategy. Historically volunteer-led and lacking in funding, companies have a real opportunity to give employees a voice, improve connection and increase authentigration.
The work done now by both nonprofits and companies to keep audiences, particularly employees, engaged will be valuable long after a virtual environment is no longer necessary to keep people safe. The shift to virtual has forced organizers to refocus on what is absolutely vital to success and has in many cases uncovered better, more efficient ways to achieve goals.