When employees are able to give to a charitable organization as part of their wellness activities, there is 18 to 22 percent more engagement in the activity compared with employees who compete solely for prize money.

The gift that keeps giving

Today’s employers have begun to recognize the benefits of tying donations to charities—increases in employee productivity, a boost in camaraderie among the staff and strengthened ties with communities in need.

Job satisfaction among the staff increases, too.

Some examples on the road to supporting causes: Employers match employee contributions for meeting set goals or badges and pins are awarded to individuals or teams based on fundraising goals. Technology plays a role, too. Of the 40 percent of employers who use technology to increase engagement, nearly half of those firms rely on technology to promote volunteer opportunities.

“Social responsibility builds trust with employees and customers...”

Building brand equity

An emerging strategy integrating social media and technology by employers involved in charitable giving in their wellness programs shows how the two work together. More than two-fifths of employers use social media and technology to connect employees with reputable nonprofit organizations, and about one-third use both to provide feedback on how contributions are used.

Regardless of the industry, CEOs indicate when their core business strategy includes corporate and social responsibility efforts—tying it into wellness programs, too—and not only are they fulfilling philanthropic needs but also the needs of their customers.

Trust in businesses is declining. Social responsibility builds trust with employees and customers, according to the 2016 PwC Global CEO Survey. Sixty-four percent of CEOs surveyed said corporate social responsibility is core to their business rather than being a stand-alone program.

The questions about what breeds success in corporate wellness have not changed, but the answers most certainly have. Employers: it is time to take notice. Get social. Share the experience. Connect with charities and other non-profits. Trust impacts the bottom line, and corporate and social responsibility is its driver.