As of 2016, millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. And unlike other generations, they want more than just a steady paycheck, a 401(k), and healthcare benefits from their jobs. They also seek out companies that promote social responsibility and care about making the world a better place.
“When we interview candidates for roles at citrusHR, it does tend to be Millennials who are the most interested in how we contribute towards social good as a company and what we do to minimize our environmental impact, so they can factor this in to their decision on whether we’re the sort of organization they’d like to work for,” said Kirsty Senior, co-founder and HR consultant at citrusHR.
Corporate social responsibility can take many forms, but no matter what route companies go, their plan of action has to be consistent and inclusive for everyone. Only then will it help when it comes to attracting and retaining talented employees.
If your company is thinking about implementing social responsibility programs into your benefits package, here are some ways to go about it.
Host an Annual Service Day
At EverythingBenefits, we give employees one business day per year, called an Annual Service Day, which they can use toward a cause they are passionate about. Employees are able to participate in the Annual Service Day by volunteering for a project of their choice or by teaming up with groups of employees with similar causes such as helping veterans, fighting poverty, visiting children’s hospitals and more. According to Favio Cerezo, a Senior Technical Support Specialist at EverythingBenefits “This is a great opportunity to get team members to better engage with each other, build shared experiences, and do something really good for these organizations.” Favio is a former Marine, and spearheads the Veterans Volunteer group at EverythingBenefits.
Keep in mind that it may make more sense to promote the group volunteer activities. That way, you’re giving employees a chance to connect with one another. “We’re really excited for employees to take part in volunteering opportunities, particularly as a team,” said Colleen Bryson, VP of Client Services at EverythingBenefits. “Not only does this mean we can give something back to the local community, but volunteering opportunities are often a really good opportunity for team building and improving relationships between employees in different departments who don’t often have a chance to work together.”
Use Payroll Deduction to Give Back
Employees may not remember to give a part of their paycheck to a cause every single month. You can make it easier by automating their donations using a payroll deduction. They can choose an amount they want to give and the frequency of their giving, and you can take it out and ensure it goes to the right organization. In addition to making giving easy for employees, you’re also providing them with a tax-deductible donation they can claim when filing.
Start an Employer Donation Matching Program
A number of companies will include an employer donation matching program in their benefits package to show their workforce that they care. For example, GE has donated more than $1 billion to charities through their program, which will match a minimum of $25 and up to $5,000. PepsiCo gives $25 to $10,000, and they will even offer a 2:1 match if employees do 50 or more service hours with an eligible charity in a calendar year. You can decide if you want to do a 1:1 match or pledge more than that for your employees. Along with showing your support, you will be able to claim these donations when tax time rolls around, too.
Coming Up with a Program That Works For You
Corporate social responsibility becomes much more simple and manageable when included in a benefits package. And with the right program in place, you will feel good about giving back, as well as experience higher employee satisfaction, a better public image, and an increase in customer loyalty. This Thanksgiving, demonstrate your dedication to good causes and help them give thanks with a socially responsible benefits plan.