Get more from your employees through giving back

Here, Greg Hallett, managing director of Give as you Live, explores how businesses can generate employee loyalty through giving.

With a job market that is now candidate-led, companies are going to increasingly great lengths to retain and attract employees – offering more perks, such as free lunches or gym memberships, to revamping work spaces to make room for foosball tables and nap pods.

But, you may be running the risk of overlooking what really matters to your employees.

The study we recently conducted with 2,000 UK workers discovered that more than a third (37 per cent) would be motivated to stay with their employer longer, if they gave back more to charity and the local community. The research even revealed that a business’ charitable initiatives would be an incentive for prospective employees to accept a role.

Despite this, CSR is an aspect of company culture that can often slip under the radar, with many businesses believing that it can be overly time-consuming or requires huge amounts of money for donations.

However, there are some easy and cost-effective ways for your business to give a little something back.

Raise money on the move: For many companies, business travel is an integral part of an employee’s job. Whether they are continuously hopping on and off planes or just taking the odd train trip to another town, these costs can quickly build up but they could help you raise money for charity. When booking flights, accommodation or just buying items your employees need for their trip, purchases made through shopping and fundraising website Give as you Live generate donations for any of the UK’s 200,000 registered charities. These donations come from the commission paid by the retailer, so they don’t cost you a thing. You could even save your business some money, as Give as you Live also offers a service for comparing travel deals.

Micro-volunteer: Often when employees hear the word ‘volunteering’, they envision a company away day to help out at an old people’s home or serve soup at a homeless shelter. But there are so many other ways they can lend a hand, even just sitting at their desk. Microvolunteering is a speedy and non-committal way for employees to offer some help and support to charities, working around both their interests and their schedule. They only need offer as little as ten minutes and the task could be as simple as writing an email. So, on their next lunch break, rather than scrolling through YouTube videos, why not encourage your employees to help out a great cause.

Go green: You do not need to be a vast corporation like Google to still burn through a lot of energy. Many businesses have to pay high energy bills – for some it can be the greatest output cost they have. So, why not also use those costs to help save the planet? Ecotricity is the world’s first green electricity company and it uses its customers’ bills to reinvest in building new sources of green energy. Even better, the company also offers eco-bonds, granting its customers the opportunity to share the financial benefits reaped by green energy.

Work pro-bono: Not all businesses are in the fortunate enough position of being able to match any funding raised by their employees, particularly if you are only a small business. But, even if you cannot offer money, you can offer your time and expertise. Many charities are in need of your employees’ skills and knowledge but are unable to pay for it. Pro-bono projects are the perfect means for employees to use what they are good at to help a good cause. Not only will your employees feel great about their work benefitting others, they will also feel like a truly valued member of the local community, society and, as a result, your business.

There is a perception that only the largest of businesses are able to support charitable causes, but these ideas show that even the smallest of companies can easily lend a hand to their local community or a worthy cause. You do not need to dole out huge donations to make an impact or to help keep your employees happier and more engaged with your business. By helping give a little back, you can get a whole lot more from your employees in return.

Related: Giving to charity good for business survey finds

Greg Hallett is managing director of Give as you Live

Further reading on employee benefits

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Freddie Halvorson

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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