Motivating Employees Through Philanthropic Work

As my peers begin to enter the workforce and navigate the never ending job interview process, it seems to be a trend that candidates will take any job that is offered. In our current economic climate, young people will say and do anything to get a job. From sending out massive amounts of applications to tailoring resumes to fit a job’s criteria, Millennials overall, will do whatever it takes to get their foot in the door. But what happens after that? What makes that driven candidate be an equally driven employee?

Since candidates are often not accepting what may qualify as their dream jobs, it may hard to motivate employees. This also can lead to the stereotype that Millennials are lazy or believe they are entitled (more on this concept next week). There are many ways to inspire these employees, but I believe the best and most effective way is through showing you care about causes they are passionate about.

Many employees are never considered when the heads of companies are deciding what charities to donate to. Research backs up the theory that asking employees what causes they care about and following through with donations to those charities result in more efficient outcomes;

"A lot of times, employees are just never asked about what they care about or how they feel...Giving them that autonomy both allows them to make a difference according to their values and also shows them that the company values their input.” (source)

If the company makes the effort to find out where employees like to be philanthropic, it sends the message that the employees matter; they are more than just a number but are an actual valued person in the company. When people feel appreciated, they become incentivised to be more efficient workers.

In addition, since candidates are seeking employment at a multitude of places, it is important to stand out as a place that cherishes your employees and what they care about. Potential employees want to know they will matter at your company and not just telling, but showing them how much employees are taken into consideration will make them more likely to want to work for you over another employer. You can show this by demonstrating the fact that the charities employees care about are ones that the company donates to.

This concept ties into Benojo’s first pillar in “What Successful Companies are Doing” which is “make it matter.” Most likely, if you are an established corporation, you have some sort of charitable giving system already in place. By implementing a program that includes what’s important to your employees, you are quite literally making your donations matter. You are not only making a difference to a charity, you are making that donation matter to your employees, which in turn, creates a more effective workplace.  

Giving makes the world go round and it is time that companies start to give to the charities that are important to employees. People want to feel like they are making a difference and this is the best way to do so. It seems like an obvious answer when you really think about it: asking someone what they’re interested in will make them feel more valued. It really is that simple. That can be the key to motivate employees who may have dropped the ball.

The point of my weekly blogs will be to offer a new perspective as I am beginning to understand the corporate and philanthropic world in Australia specifically. Each week, as I dive into a new topic, I hope to leave you a little more informed and thinking in a new way. Stay tuned for next week’s piece where I will combat some generational stereotypes in the workplace. In fact, feel free to take this survey that will be cited in my blog next week!


Feel free to leave any feedback in the comments below!