A new trend is emerging in workplace culture and it’s not free snacks or naps. It’s volunteering. More and more employees are choosing positions that allow them to contribute to a cause. Unfortunately not every company has the luxury of doing business for the greater good. Luckily, there is a way to increase employee satisfaction while meeting their need to be a part of something bigger: philanthropy.

Volunteer causes provide a much needed philanthropic outlet for employees searching for meaning in their everyday duties and, as a desirable outcome, does wonders for your company and its environment.

Here are three reasons to introduce a philanthropy-related program into your work environment, and three tips to help it prosper.

Create Marketing Opportunities

You may not be bringing in revenue while participating in a philanthropic cause, but that does not mean you are neglecting your branding efforts. Donating time or money to philanthropic causes is actually a fantastic way to spread your company name around the community.

Recognition can come in the form of a logo on the back of a t-shirt, or a sponsorship mention in a radio announcement. You could even choose to create a strong sense of company unity by creating collateral that both champions your cause and boosts your brand.

Tip – Keep employees interested by choosing local or relevant causes that emphasize the connection between the surrounding community and the company.

Boost Employee Engagement

Employees tend to feel good about companies that tend to do good. In fact, in a 2016 survey regarding workplace volunteering, “90% of [surveyed] companies listed improved employee engagement among the top three benefits of a workplace volunteering program.”

If your employees show up to work feeling energetic and engaged, it stands to reason that their performance will improve. Companies involved with philanthropic causes have also reported strengthened employee relationships, reduced stress levels, and an increase in pride and purpose pertaining to the company overall.

Tip – Make participation voluntary. If an employee feels like participation is obligatory, they might experience feelings of resentment.

Expand Your Network

Most philanthropic causes are organized and supported by a wide range of people and businesses. If your team is extremely ambitious, you might ask them to petition the involvement of other area businesses. This helps drive engagement for your own company while forging new connections among community members at the same time.

Each and every participant is an opportunity for your company to create and expand upon a new relationship. Later on, these connections may translate to better brand recognition, increased word-of-mouth referrals, or even a new recruit or two.

Tip – Contact your local Chamber of Commerce for helpful recommendations and resources when it comes time to spread the word about your philanthropic cause.

Originally published at jasonaaronbragg.net