Employee Engagement Trends: YourCause report shows what’s working

Employee engagement opportunities are increasingly popular among companies, with recent studies like YourCause’s Industry Review: Corporate Social Responsibility shining a light on the data and best practices behind these programs. YourCause delivers the CSRConnect Employee Engagement Platform to enterprise clients of all sizes, providing a fully hosted solution for a broad array of corporate community involvement programs. This particular report reveals how implementing employee engagement opportunities can build a sense of community within an organization and help retain essential personnel, a company’s most valuable asset—while helping today’s workforce from feeling disconnected from their communities. Executing employee engagement programs, such as giving, matching and volunteering, act as catalysts for innovation, ethical behavior and loyalty among employees.
There are many different ways to engage employees. Choosing or designing an employee program calls for a strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) effort. Tailoring programs to staff passions, while aligning campaigns to an organization’s mission, can be tough. There are many different engagement strategies and closer inspection of the Industry Review: Corporate Social Responsibility reveals how a company’s employee programs can better engage its workforce.
Some of the most popular employee programs center around giving campaigns, matching gifts and volunteering. Within giving programs, companies may offer payroll giving and/or direct donations or charitable grants. When using payroll giving, an employee has the benefit of automatically deducting an amount from their salary to be donated to the charity of choice. Also, a company can rally its employees to give to a charitable entity through a platform or campaign that allows direct donations. The Industry Review shows recent trends for companies with giving programs, and around 10% of full time employees are engaged as donors, averaging $74 per transaction. This data varies across corporate landscapes, wherein companies with 10,001-50,000 employees trail with donor engagement at five percent and companies with 1,000-5,000 and 50,001-100,000 peak donor engagement at 14%. The data analyzed in the Industry Review allows one to compare optimal strategies, and although employee engagement through giving opportunities is currently growing (five percent per year), there are other programs that also engage employees.
Another type of program which many companies have adopted is a matching gift program. Companies set “match caps” or limits on how much funding a company will match per individual employee contribution. According to this report, employees’ participation in this program almost double as match caps increase from a $1,000 match cap to over $10,000 match cap per employee. This not only boosts employee engagement, but also charitable giving, and directly invests in social good. Employees donate nine times on average an annual basis with the average company-matched donation at approximately $148 per employee.
According to Industry Review, volunteering programs have had the least significant employee engagement outcomes. However, when combined with other employee programs, the benefits are exponentially higher. Seven to eight percent of employees volunteer 16 hours annually.  Employees that use a company’s volunteer grant program or “dollars-for-doers” contribute an average of $670 to the hosting nonprofit, per volunteer event. 
Fully aligned CSR strategies combine volunteer programs with giving campaigns and employee matching. The Industry Review report reveals that companies with these three engagement opportunities show a 43% employee engagement rate, including a 10% increase in employee volunteering. This model is wildly successful, almost engaging half of a company’s workforce and opening options for employees to be more involved in both company and community.
Whether transitioning to a new matching gift provider, launching a new employee engagement program or refreshing your current program, Silicon Valley Community Foundation can help. Together, YourCause and Silicon Valley Community Foundation empower companies and their employees to make charitable contributions to an extensive network of fully qualified nonprofit organizations worldwide, at costs that are among the lowest in the industry. Contact donate@siliconvalleycf.org for more information. 
About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. As the largest community foundation in the world, we engage donors and corporations from Silicon Valley, across the country and around the globe to make our region and world better for all. Our passion for helping people and organizations achieve their philanthropic dreams has created a global philanthropic enterprise committed to the belief that possibilities start here.