How Workplace Giving Can Boost Employee Engagement in Remote Teams

February 8, 2021

By Suman Sridhar

Twenty percent of remote workers say loneliness is their biggest struggle, according to a study from Buffer. When opportunities for in-person interactions are limited, your employees may feel isolated and disconnected. However, this doesn’t have to be the norm. Whether working remotely is a temporary reality or permanent change for your organization, you have a chance to redouble your focus on building and strengthening relationships across your organization. Creating a culture of giving helps boost employee engagement and fosters community even within a distributed workforce.

Employees want socially conscious employers

Now more than ever, employees are looking for ways to help causes in need through their employer. For example, 90 percent of employees at a major financial services company said that the main reason why they gave more in the pandemic was because they wanted to give back to their communities, says the SHRM.  In addition to improving their communities, helping causes in need helps employees feel connected and engaged in their organization. Organizations can reinforce their greater purpose beyond just the products and services they sell, making it easier for employees to get behind the company’s mission. This way employees feel like they’re part of a community, not just a cog in a wheel, and maintain a sense of company culture when teams can’t physically be together.

Workplace giving brings employees together

Charitable giving and volunteering also offer unparalleled opportunities to network, in-person and virtually. As we’ve discussed, feeling detached is one of the biggest challenges of working remotely. Getting behind a specific cause can unite different people from across the organization, help them build new relationships, and strengthen existing ties. You can also use charitable giving as a bonding activity within your team and build camaraderie. For example, every Friday as part of your “end-of-week” meeting, your team can vote on a cause they want to pay attention to. Another idea is to form a company-wide social responsibility committee. You’ll be able to connect with your fellow employees about matters other than your day-to-day work responsibilities. Whether you create a committee or keep your participation more informal, charitable giving helps you broaden your professional network, improve your visibility in your organization, and have fun along the way. When your employees can form relationships and have positive employee experiences, they’re more likely to remain dedicated to your organization.

Chart showing how employee engagement affects key business outcomes
Source: How Employee Engagement Drives Growth — Gallup

Gratitude through giving makes for happier employees

Giving unlocks powerful emotions that result in greater employee engagement. Helping others makes you feel grateful, boosts your mood and self-esteem, and improves your happiness overall. You’ll know you’re making a positive difference, which enhances your self-worth. Scientists have categorized these feelings as “the helper’s high,” with research showing that the area of the brain that’s activated in response to pleasure (ex: food) also lights up when giving to a charity. Helping causes in need has also been known to reduce stress and improve overall health. Employees are more productive when they’re happier and engaged, and Gallup research shows that companies that have engaged employees are 21 percent more profitable than those that don’t. You don’t need expensive perks and benefits to improve employee satisfaction. Pick a non-profit group, choose a virtual giving card, and feel your spirits rise as you help a cause in need.


In today’s pandemic-driven world, you and your employees should enjoy any opportunity you have to feel good and help others. Workplace giving can bring your employees together even when your team is spread out across the world. Not only can giving boost employee engagement but it also leads to a more committed and productive workforce overall.

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