8 Unexpected Ways to Reward CSR Participation

Sep 05, 2018 - Lisa Watkinson

Most employees don’t get involved with CSR for the rewards. However, rewarding them regardless of the reason they got involved is a great way to keep participation and engagement high. When asked what leaders could do more of to improve engagement, 58% of respondents replied “give recognition.”

But the standard dollars-for-hours incentive program, which gives a certain amount to charity for each volunteer hour worked by the employee, can get a little tired.

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Instead, check out these 8 unexpected ways to reward them for CSR participation.

#1 Incentive Trips

Have you ever heard of “voluntourism?” It combines volunteering with traveling (tourism) to create one great incentive. Company trips have long been used as a way of incentivizing employees, and voluntourism just makes it more CSR friendly.

Not only does the volunteer aspect do good for the community, but it’s also great for team building. Of those who went on a voluntourism trip, 95% said the project was the highlight.

#2 Charity Cards

Found on websites like Cards for Causes and Good Cause Greetings, charity cards give you the option to send your employees a thoughtful thank-you while still donating to a great cause. With a charity card, 10-20% of the card’s cost goes straight to the charity of your choice. As a bonus, the employee has a lasting reminder of your gratitude.

#3 Feature Their Efforts on Your Blog

If your business keeps a blog, this is an easy, cheap and meaningful way to show your employees they’re appreciated. When employees go to volunteer, take photos and write up a narrative of their good work. This has the added benefit of displaying your company culture to the public, which could help to attract new employees. Tying philanthropic efforts to recognition is a no-brainer!

#4 Food

Food is the ultimate employee reward. It may seem cliche, but this one really works: 67% of full-time employees with access to free food at work are “extremely” or “very” happy at their current job. To incorporate this reward into CSR, provide snacks or a luck while your employees are volunteering. It’s an easy way to make them feel rewarded, happy and full.

#5 Social Media Shout-Outs

As far as quick and easy go, this one is at the top. Use your business’ social media accounts to send a short thank-you note to especially deserving employees. It’s free, and literally only takes 30 seconds. Seeing that little notification pop up on their Facebook or Twitter feed where all their friends and family can see ensures that employees feel appreciated.

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#6 VIP Parking

You know that one supreme parking spot everyone fights over? Offer it as a reward to one employee a month. Whichever employee has volunteered the most hours or donated the highest percentage of their paycheck is the winner of the spot for the month. It’s free to give out and will engage the employees in friendly competition.

#7 Host an Event

Something simple, yet meaningful can do wonders to show your employees you appreciate their efforts. Throwing a catered picnic or a pizza party is easy to put together and loads of fun for employees. Plus, the time outside of work together is a prime opportunity for employees to bond. It’ll help in the long run: 67% of workers reported having friends at work makes their job more fun and enjoyable.

#8 T-Shirts/Swag

If your employees have volunteered for specific or memorable projects, a commemorative T-shirt is just the thing to reward them with. Personalize the shirts with your employee last names and the name of the project, and they’re sure to feel appreciated. Then, during future projects, your team can wear them together and show they’re a unified force of good. It’s win-win.

Not all rewards have to be expensive as a voluntourism trip. Simple things like treat days or thank-you cards are easy ways to let your employees know they’re doing good work. If all else fails, a handwritten note or a sincere thank you can also do the trick. If you need help managing your employee giving programs, CyberGrants has solutions.

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