Giving back to society is not a choice, but a responsibility bestowed on all of us who have the ability to do so. Studies show that giving back have immense benefits for the giver and there is no doubt that philanthropy helps achieve a cause bigger than us. The benefits of giving are not restricted to your health and wellbeing, but also include enhancement of skills, finding a sense of purpose and ability to gain a new perspective. There is no doubt, that giving makes people happier.
Though we understand the benefits, and see that they have a direct correlation to our wellbeing, we still need to understand the role it can play in a corporate setup and our day to day lives.
Looking at our day to day lives today, we are in an ever evolving corporate environment, and are constantly experimenting with technologies, achieving new milestones and setting higher standards to measure success. All of this makes us question how crucial is wellness, and how can we contribute more. Now that we know that philanthropy has an answer, the bigger question remains, what activities can we do without hampering daily activities?
Corporates also understand this need and have introduced wellness programmes with an objective to enhance productivity, boost employee engagement, and/or reduce employee turnover. Tie in philanthropy and employee wellbeing, and you have a wellness programme which not only boosts employee contribution at work but also facilitates societal good. This approach is now widely adopted and a series of philanthropic initiatives at taken up at the board level. Some popular approaches in the current ecosystem, are
Employee volunteer programme
Encouraging employees to go and volunteer on ground is a practise adopted by many across the board. Not only does volunteering boost cooperation, team resonation and bonding for participants, it also helps them achieve purpose-driven work.
As an effort, companies get their employees to contribute to a cause and set a narrative. Alternatively, employees can chose to do so out of their salaries as a volunteer practice. This exercise enables a choice structure and facilitates conveyance.
Setting an Example
Encouraging employees who regularly go out their way and contribute through own little efforts, helps in setting an example for others to follow. This also increases the morale of others. Awarding such employees is a great way to showcase an organisation’s direction and decision when it comes to philanthropy.
These efforts also are highlighted through CSR policies and sustainability reports. With a focus on employee wellbeing, a greater good for society and good governance, philanthropy at work not only does promote wellbeing and contribution at workplace, but also helps in nation building. Private funding grew at a higher rate than public funding between FY14 and FY18 with 15% growth rate compared to 10% in the public funding. However, it was noted that greater growth is needed to meet the 2030 SDGs .
This clearly states that if are to reach a point without poverty, inequality, violence and environmental stress, public finance and policies will not be enough. We need to drive a model of “Civic Driven Change”, wherein CSR goals are directly aligned with UN’s SDGs. Corporates should look at aligning multiple objectives to reach a common goal, and join forces for the betterment of the society.
It is evident that through consistent efforts like workplace philanthropy, we can all inculcate a mind-set of giving, wellbeing and overall development. This in turn translates to reaching bigger goals and also helps in driving employee well-being and contribution at work. A structured approach and an alignment with larger goals, will help corporates drive the narrative and also help in setting an example with employee well-being, CSR and overall development.