The Chicago business community is a generous group. Many families in need throughout the Chicago area were able to enjoy the holidays a bit more, thanks to holiday giving programs hosted by local companies. The team at the Robert Half office in downtown Chicago joined countless other businesses that collected food, toys and monetary donations and partnered with nonprofit organizations to get the items in the hands of those who need them most.
Any employee at one of these companies will tell you there are few things more heartwarming than being able to provide necessities and give a little joy to a struggling family. Increased morale, teamwork and getting to know coworkers better are also benefits of participating in a company’s philanthropic program.
As it turns out, these giving programs may also have an impact on future employees who don’t even work at the company yet.
More than four in ten (42 percent) professionals polled in a survey conducted by OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half, said an organization’s participation in charitable activities is at least somewhat of a factor in a decision to work there. Fifty-one percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said they are drawn to organizations that participate in charitable activities, leading every other age group polled. Next (45 percent) were professionals between the ages of 35 and 44.
Besides company giving programs during the holidays, other ways managers can incorporate philanthropic activities throughout the year include:
- Providing volunteer opportunities. Giving employees a chance to volunteer together as a group in the summer months at a local park or camp cleanup doubles as as a great team-building activity.
- Showing your support. Sponsor, host or participate in a charity event such as an auction or 5K run.
- Chip in. Arrange for the company or your department to donate to causes that matter most to employees, such as disaster relief efforts or local schools.
- Match it. Consider offering a matching-gifts program that supplements workers’ charitable contributions or activities.
Whether a philanthropic program takes place during the holidays or in the middle of summer, the key to success is to involve employees in the design of the program. It’s simple. People want to feel good about where they work. Asking employees what issue or nonprofit they are most passionate about tells them their opinion is valued. And providing them the freedom to build the program ensures their participation and gives them an important stake in its success.
There are many factors that draw strong candidates to companies, and giving back to the community is one of them. Company-sponsored charitable and volunteer programs will not only help in recruiting efforts but also in retaining your top performers.
Here are some of the organizations Robert Half supports at holiday time and throughout the year in the Chicago area:
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Child + Family Center (www.childrenshomeandaid.org/RiceChildandFamilyCenter)
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls