Give Back to the Community to Retain Employees, New Study Says

Employee retention is the latest hot topic among employers and human resource experts, as research has shown that replacing salaried employees can cost as much as $30,000 in recruiting and training. And, now, a new study finds a surprising way to increase employee retention is via the simple act of corporate giving.

“A study from Benevity, Inc. has found that when companies participate in philanthropic efforts, their likelihood of retaining employees increases,” says Jack Skeen, corporate leadership expert and co-author of executive development book The Circle Blueprint: Decoding the Conscious and Unconscious Factors that Determine Your Success. “In fact, when employees are actively involved in their company’s charity efforts, they are 57% less likely to jump ship.”

Skeen explains that this increase in retention is in part due to the fact that “corporate goodness” is appealing to employees, especially due to the fact that so many of us are skeptical of large corporations.

“Many people are distrustful of authority in this day and age. In fact, a recent study found that the majority of people say that they no longer have faith in the government, media or businesses,” says Skeen. “Hence, it makes sense that corporate giving programs help to keep employees involved as well as happy at their jobs. It might seem like a small thing, but to employees who are so disillusioned by corporate greed and deception, it can feel like a major step in the right direction.”

The leadership development CEO also says that corporate giving can serve to unite employees and help them foster relationships with one another. “We know that having friends at work can greatly improve an employee’s attitude and even their productivity. In fact, 70% of people say that having friends at work is crucial to a happy work life, while research also shows that having friends at work also has a positive impact on employees’ output.”

That is why to gain maximum impact from corporate giving, Skeen says companies should focus their efforts not just on raising money, but on events where employees can work together outside the office. “Whether it is helping with clean-up efforts after a storm or collecting goods for the needy, it’s important to engage employees beyond just having them write a check for a charity,” says Skeen.