5 Unique Ways To Give Thanks to Your Employees for CSR Participation

Nov 17, 2022 10:30 AM ET
Campaign: CSR Trends
diverse group working together

The end of the year is fast approaching and like most corporate social responsibility (CSR) leaders, you’re likely managing year-end giving campaigns, developing next year’s corporate philanthropy strategy, or taking a well-deserved vacation. But in the midst of all the festivities, don’t forget to give thanks to your employees!

Showing gratitude is a key part of CSR, and it's a great way to encourage employees to continue doing their best, boost morale, build a recurring donor base, and show you recognize and appreciate your employees’ efforts. Plus, with the holiday season around the corner, it's the perfect way to spread cheer. So take some time to show your employees how grateful you are—they deserve it!

At CyberGrants, we know that identifying the best ways to show gratitude can be difficult and you may not know where to begin. Luckily, in this article, we’ve removed the guesswork by outlining five unique ways you can give thanks to your employees for their CSR participation.

1. Gather Employee Feedback

After closing out a giving campaign or volunteer event, your CSR team likely spends time evaluating the program’s success. During this process, you probably look at the number of participants, volunteer hours logged, dollars donated, and a variety of other data points. But do you ask your employees how they felt about the campaign? Not only is employee feedback an integral part of the evaluation process, but your employees also offer a unique perspective that may inform next year’s program and help make it an even greater success.

Following your corporate giving program, send a sentiment survey to participants so that they can share their feedback. Be sure to include a section that requests their ideas for making next year’s program even better! This will allow you to incorporate how and where your employees want to give in future initiatives. And when your employees see that you value their input and listen to their voices, they’ll know how much you appreciate their efforts to get involved.

Wondering what questions to ask your employees? Check out our campaign evaluation worksheet and program checklist in our Impact Playbook: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB).

2. Make an Impact on Employer Branding and Gratitude

As any good marketer knows, employer branding is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. Why? Because employees want to make a difference and feel that companies have an obligation to do good. In fact, 75% of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company. And what better way to show off your company's commitment to social responsibility than by highlighting your employees' philanthropic efforts? Plus, this is a great way to show you appreciate their dedication to giving back.

If you have access to a video production or a graphic design team, ask them to film your volunteer event or interview employees about a recent giving campaign. If you can't capture the event or employee testimonials in a video format, ask campaign participants if they’d be willing to offer a quote about their experience getting involved. Your team can use this content in a blog post or on social media to show your company’s impact in a digestible and shareable format—hello, employer branding!

Not quite a social media savant? We’ve got you covered! Download our GivingTuesday Impact Playbook for social media best practices, templates, and sample posts.

No matter how you choose to socialize your employees’ efforts, this is a great opportunity to show you've been paying attention to their commitment to giving and applaud the incredible impact they’ve made!

Quick Wins:

Get social: Give your employees a shout-out on social media. This is a great way to show appreciation and increase awareness of your company's CSR efforts.

Make it personal: It may seem old school, but a handwritten note goes a long way. Thank your employees for their hard work and let them know how much you appreciate their efforts.

3. Empower and Strengthen Your Workforce

Showing your gratitude for employee participation is always important! It's especially impactful when you give a meaningful gift rather than a generic certificate or corporate gift box. Next time, opt for something more long-lasting, such as offering your employees learning and development opportunities. This way, you can show your workforce you recognize their efforts while simultaneously supporting their career growth—a win-win!

Are there any upcoming industry events—virtual or in-person—that would be relevant to departments across your company? Offer a stipend to each person who participated in your volunteer or giving program to attend. Were there particular employees who went above and beyond your expectations? Allow them to take on a leadership role in the next volunteer or giving campaign hosted by your company. Not only will this show your appreciation for their hard work, but it will also help them develop leadership skills and advance their careers.

Quick Wins:

Give a gift card: Who doesn't love a little extra spending money? Gift cards are a great way to show your appreciation, and they can be used however the recipient chooses.

Give paid time off (PTO): Time is precious, so give your employees the gift of time by offering them some extra PTO. This is a great way to show your appreciation and help them recharge.

4. Prioritize Health and Well-being

Your employees work hard and many go above and beyond to make a difference by participating in CSR. Show that you recognize their commitment to doing good and supporting others by offering a company-wide mental health day. Consider closing your office doors on an annual, biannual, or quarterly basis for your employees to spend time doing whatever it is that helps them recharge and de-stress. If possible, plan the day off near a holiday so that it flows into family time.

Company-wide mental health days offer a myriad of benefits beyond showing employee appreciation. Don’t believe us? Mental health days are proven to:

  • Initiate conversations about mental health in the workplace.
  • Prevent burnout.
  • Improve work-life balance.
  • Increase corporate morale.
  • Boost productivity.
  • Increase employee retention.
  • Improve overall health and well-being.
  • Decrease absenteeism.

For even more ways to invest in your employees’ well-being and show you care, download our eBook, Keeping Remote Workers Emotionally Invested.

Quick Wins:

Download Headspace: Prevent employee burnout and support your team's mental health by offering your employees a Headspace for Work subscription. The result? Less stress and burnout—and that means fewer sick days, better focus, and more effective teamwork.

Partner with Gympass: It's no secret that physical and mental health go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, joining a gym or attending a workout class isn't accessible for everyone. Support your employees’ overall health by investing in a corporate well-being platform like Gympass!

5. Celebrate Your Success

There's nothing like a celebratory meal to bring people together and show your appreciation for a job well done. Following a volunteer event or a giving campaign, plan to show your gratitude for employee participation with company-sponsored food and drinks.

If your company operates in person, invite the program participants to gather in your office kitchen for a catered lunch. You can also take the party elsewhere and toast your impact at a nearby restaurant while enjoying cocktails and appetizers. As a CSR leader, this is a great opportunity to give a speech expressing your gratitude and reflect on your program’s success by playing a slideshow of photos and videos from the event.

If your team is remote, block off your participants’ calendars and reserve a time to gather virtually to celebrate the impact that everyone made possible. Schedule the celebration during lunch and offer attendees a stipend so that they can order a meal and have it delivered to their doorstep. Alternatively, make it a happy hour and host a cocktail-making class. Your team can learn to make a signature cocktail (give it a catchy name!) and spend time sipping and reflecting on your campaign’s success.

Quick Wins:

Give an experience: What better way to show your gratitude for CSR participation than by giving your employees an unforgettable experience? Consider tickets to a sporting event, concert, or theatrical performance. This is a great way to show your appreciation and create some lasting memories.

Make a Donation: Donate to a charity of your employees' choice in their name. This is a great way to show you care about the causes they're passionate about.

Invest In A Giving Ecosystem

When it comes to building and scaling a successful CSR initiative, encouraging employee participation can sometimes be the greatest challenge a management team faces. As a result, express your sincere gratitude for those who do show up, and they’ll be sure to come back next year. Plus, once their colleagues hear about all the impact that was achieved (and the company-sponsored cocktail party) they’ll be eager to get involved too. And just like that, you’ve made strides to build a long-term, recurring donor base.

Beyond employee appreciation for CSR participation, there’s a lot that goes into implementing a successful program. At CyberGrants, we support your organization every step of the way. From program ideation and implementation to data analysis after your campaign has ended, our giving ecosystem is here to maximize the impact of your efforts. Learn more and get a custom tour of CyberGrants today!

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