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Boosting employee engagement by working to help charities such as Just a Drop
Where does engagement start? We know it is closely aligned with the organisational culture but what is the added extra which turns employees into valued individuals who are aligned with business strategy?
Well if you were to read even half of the engagement articles which are posted every day on the net you would be faced with a dazzling array of enticements to choose this or that engagement solution. Office furniture, water coolers, the décor, even the phone system have been linked with engagement but so too have moves towards sustainability, giving back and work/life balance; all before you start to get into culture and personal interactions and the job itself.
So what is the answer? Well actually everything is and everything isn’t directly linked to engagement. Confused? Let’s put it another way. The Engage for Success website talks of employee engagement as an approach which is “designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being.”
But what creates that sense of commitment, motivation and self-enhancement? Realistically it is a balance of everything which the organisation offers. Your line manager may be fantastic but if the culture is one of self-interest and back biting then you may not be fully engaged in your work. Similarly the product may be great but if the premises are mouldy and dark then you are never going to be able to give of your all. In fact, studies have shown that the cleanliness and appearance of work premises can play a significant part in the way in which work is approached.
So when we talk about engagement we have to look at a balance in which nothing is excluded and nothing is singled out as the ‘sole’ answer. But there is one area which is gaining in the engagement stakes and that is the charitable or sustainable work which the organisation is involved with. As Generation Y and Z enter the workplace they bring with them a sense of ‘putting back’ of giving something to the wider society and they are looking for their companies to do the same. Being proud of the organisation for which you work, being committed to the cause is as much about the culture of the organisation as it is about the product and that culture increasingly has to be inclusive rather than inward looking.
From making donations to matched funding and from giving employees time off to undertake charitable work to embarking on a fundraising project there are numerous ways for businesses to give back to society. For example, at Culture Consultancy we have embarked on a crowdfunding project in tandem with Just a Drop to raise funds to bring clean water and sanitation to one village near the Ugandan equator. The people of Kayabwe have to rely for their water on swampland and on a few meagre ponds contaminated with animal faeces. Even then collecting water is a dangerous task, not just because of the heavy loads which they have to carry but also the constant threat of attack from wild animals.
The charity Just a Drop is working with the people of Kayabwe to help them to bring clean water and sanitation to their village. The villagers will put the hard work in, but they simply don’t have the financial resources to buy the materials needed to install the rainwater harvesting tanks, latrines and wells which will transform their lives. If we can raise £8,000 then matched funding will enable the people of Kayabwe to live healthier and safer lives. For more information about this project or to make a donation please visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/just-a-drop.