Making a Difference and Employee Engagement

Making a Difference and Employee Engagement

The Correlation Between Making a Difference and Employee Engagement
Many leaders have long assumed there is a link between making a difference and employee engagement.  The thinking is that the more employees know how their jobs are making a positive difference in the world, the more engaged they will be in doing their work.

Making a Difference
Most of us are besieged by multiple requests for donations. This is not new. But today the appeals are presented almost universally in a new way.  The requests for help are much more personal and they point specifically to what your dollars can do for the individuals who need your support. For example,

  • From the Ronald McDonald House, you receive a picture of a child and her family who were accommodated for free during the 5 months of treatment.
  • From Doctors without Borders, you learn exactly how many received life-saving measles vaccinations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • From the Salvation Army, you can read of the rehabilitation of a young man who had been abandoned as a child, turned to drugs and crime and then found a path to redemption.

Where the Personal Approach Started
This more personal approach began with the very successful Jimmy Fund campaign for cancer research established in 1948 to help a 12-year-old cancer patient dubbed “Jimmy.” Millions heard the boy visit with his baseball heroes as they stood by his hospital bed. Contributions flooded in to help buy Jimmy a television so he could watch the Braves play. This outpouring of support launched an effort that continues the fight against cancer throughout the world today.

Why It Eorks
Almost everyone likes to feel they are part of something big…something that makes the world a better place.  According to the Greater Good Science Center, giving back:

  1. Makes us feel happy
  2. Is good for our health
  3. Promotes cooperation and social connection
  4. Evokes gratitude
  5. Is contagious

How Can You Apply Giving at Work?
Employee engagement and retention leaders are applying this concept to the work environment. For example, they know employees who understand how their job specifically improves the lives of their customers, report higher levels of engagement, discretionary effort, performance and retention.  Does your company:

  • Link making a difference and employee engagement?
  • Volunteer in the community?
  • Get involved with the community in which you do business?
  • Use available resources to positively impact the community?
  • Have Senior Leaders who demonstrate the importance of volunteerism through community outreach?
  • Have a personally meaningful mission statement?

The Bottom Line
The link between making a difference and employee engagement can be powerful.  Most employees, especially millennials, are more interested in work that benefits society. The closer you can bring your workers to the real benefits to their end-users, the more engaged and committed they will be.

To learn more about how to engage and retain your top talent, download The Top 10 Research-Backed Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

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