Ten volunteers, a few glue sticks, construction paper and a surprise visit from the one-and-only Cookie Monster are all it took to foster employee engagement and help promote the unique company culture at The Jacobson Group. On October 16th, a group of Jacobson employees visited Chicago’s Harold Washington Library as part of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s (IICF) Week of Giving event. Participating in the newly launched Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day initiative, our volunteers joined together with local children and families to participate in interactive Sesame Street games, videos and activities designed to encourage children and the adults in their lives to read and write together.
But how exactly does this relate to promoting a company culture and building employee engagement?
Today’s professionals are looking for an organization where they can find meaning in their work. They want to feel like they are contributing to the greater good and providing a benefit to their community. They look for organizations where they can be socially relevant and impactful. In fact, a Deloitte survey found that 61% of Millennials factor a company’s commitment to the community when making a job decision with 70% saying that they strongly favor companies with a reputation of community involvement. With the insurance industry facing an increasingly competitive labor market, building awareness of the industry as a profession that “does good” is becoming more and more important.
Insurance is a noble profession with a history of making a difference in the lives of individuals and communities. However, this story is not well-known among the general public. By promoting involvement in volunteer and community service opportunities, like the recent IICF initiative, insurance organizations are building a positive corporate image and publicizing a company culture that is highly attractive to today’s professionals.
But building a positive company image is just one piece of the corporate citizenship puzzle. Organizing and encouraging volunteerism is also a great way for companies to promote employee engagement. According to a study conducted by Dale Carnegie and MSW Research, 54% of employees who are proud of their organizations’ community service contributions are more likely to be engaged. With Gallup reporting that just over 1 out of 10 workers in the U.S. actually enjoys their job, increasing engagement in the workplace is key to business success. In fact, organizations with engaged staff outperform those with disengaged employees by up to 202%.
Embracing charity projects and volunteerism allows companies to lend a purpose to their employees and provides a chance for staff to step away from their daily tasks and avoid potential burnout. It gives them a new outlook and renewed appreciation for the work that both they and their company are doing.
With the competition for top talent heating up, a corporate citizenship program provides organizations with a solution that positively impacts both their talent retention and recruitment. What is your organization doing to provide charity and volunteer opportunities to your employees?