Half of Canadians consider employer’s commitment to charity, community: survey

Half (50 per cent) of employees said they considered their employer’s reputation for charitable and community work before accepting their position, according to a new survey by Imagine Canada.

Its annual corporate community investment report, which surveyed more than 1,500 private sector employees, found 28 per cent of employee respondents would be willing to take a pay decrease to work for a company more strongly committed to community service.

Read: How to tie workplace philanthropy into employee engagement, wellness

Among employee respondents who believe their company is highly committed to community, 86 per cent said they’re extremely or very likely to stay in their job for the next two years. More than half (59 per cent) said they’re very likely to recommend their company to others. And 47 per cent said they strongly agree they share a common social purpose with their company.

“This report sends a nuanced message,” says Bruce MacDonald, president and chief executive officer at Imagine Canada. “Employees who believe their company is genuinely committed to community are more likely to stay; more likely to be loyal; more likely to share common purpose and more likely to recommend their company to others. But the research also shows businesses don’t get these benefits unless community investment is done well. The commitment to creating social value must be authentic and deeply embedded in a corporation’s DNA. Dabbling in donations won’t influence employees.”

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Among employees who work for companies with payroll deduction programs, employee donation matching and giving campaigns, 79 per cent said they donate to charity compared to 47 per cent of those with no workplace donation programs. As well, 76 per cent of survey respondents said they now regularly support a charity they learned about at work.

“Socially committed corporations and their employees are a bulwark against the social deficit,” said MacDonald. “Visionary corporate leaders are recognizing community investment as the means to attracting the workforce of tomorrow.”