Modernizing Philanthropy in the Workplace: Why Investing in HR Technology Is Critical

When asked about the biggest challenges facing human resources professionals in 2022, HR exec Carla Yudhishthu noted something that’s a relatively new concept in human resources management: the importance of connecting employees to a bigger purpose at work. That “soft” HR skill, along with recruitment, retention and employee engagement, is separate from what used to be considered the core of HR work — managing the office, tracking employee data, and managing employee benefits and education. It is, however, becoming a larger and more important part of human resources, especially as people return to the office after a lengthy, enforced office timeout. 

In fact, that side of HR — what Yudhishthu refers to as the “art of HR” — has taken on increasing importance, but the need for the operational side of things hasn’t diminished. If your company is still relying on HR workers to essentially do data entry and management, it’s time to look at how modern HR technology supports your entire workforce while freeing your HR department to focus on the things that really motivate and engage your employees.

What Motivates Your Workforce? (It’s Not What You Think It Is)

Common wisdom suggests that employees are motivated by better pay, higher benefits and workplace recognition and rewards. While all of those elements are important, recent research has found that the most engaged employees share some common experiences and attitudes.

1. They work for companies that provide a smooth employee experience

The easier it is for someone to do their work, the more likely they are to be satisfied with their job. Businesses with engaged employees provide them with the tools they need, not only to do their jobs, but to manage their lives in balance with their work. That includes HR software that puts the information they need at their fingertips, both figuratively and literally. 

Modern HR technology features apps that allow employees to access and track their own data, so they can see at a glance how many vacation days they have, how much sick time they’ve earned, and more. They also make it easy and intuitive for workers to submit requests for time off or schedule changes, and to see the progress of their request without having to visit the HR office. 

By removing friction from basic functions, good HR technology improves the employee experience and increases employee satisfaction. At the same time, it reduces the amount of time your HR department has to spend on routine tasks that can be automated.

2. They find purpose in their work

A recent McKinsey study found that 70% of the employees they surveyed want work that is meaningful — that fulfills a purpose. The top recommendation from that study was for corporations to identify and consider their impact on the world around them, and work to align their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies with the values that are important to their employees. People who work for companies that empower them to make changes in the world around them are more likely to stay in their jobs and to recommend their company to others.

HR software that helps manage and track CSR and giving can provide a visual reminder of individual and company purpose.  

3. Their jobs offer meaningful benefits

While the traditional work benefits — health insurance, paid time off and other typical work perks — are still an important draw, employees also want perks that recognize them as whole people. This includes corporate giving programs of all types, from workplace volunteer opportunities to donation match programs. Employees who work for companies that empower and support them in giving back to the community feel a stronger sense of loyalty to their employer.

HR technology allows employees to manage their own work-life balance, as well as discover and access benefits provided by the company. The combination leads to more job satisfaction, more transparent company culture and improved well-being across the company.

4. They have some flexibility and autonomy in their work

Autonomy and flexibility give workers a sense of control and ownership over their contributions to the company and its purpose. Over the past few years of working from home, many employees have found that they’re more productive and engaged when they’re allowed to make some decisions about when, where and how to approach their work. 

At the same time, it’s important to maintain good communication and set clear expectations. A structured HR interface, along with clear company-wide messaging, can provide a framework that allows employees to make decisions that fit with the overall goals and needs of the entire company.

5. They want to work for a company that shares their values

One of the most effective ways for a business to align their values with their people is through creating a corporate culture that values transparency, social responsibility and participation. A workplace giving portal does more than provide an easy way for employees to participate in charitable giving. It can also provide a wealth of data to help the HR department:

    • Track trends in giving
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s corporate giving strategies
    • Demonstrate the company’s commitment to its values
    • Empower employees to support the causes important to them
    • Give leadership the information it needs to see if the current programs align with employee values

The Bottom Line

The right HR technology provides the tools, information and structure your company needs to attract, motivate and retain top talent in your field. Not only does it empower your workforce and provide them with transparency, it also frees up your HR professionals to use their creativity and knowledge to improve the workplace.

For more tips on building strong leadership and employees, check out our blog.

Building Stellar Workplace Leaders: 7 Tips To Be a Good Manager

The best companies have one thing in common: good leadership. Leadership can make or break a company. All leaders aren’t managers. There are, for example, informal leaders who may have no official title or claim to direct others. So while all leaders aren’t managers, in the most exceptional companies, all managers are leaders.

The traditional view of management is confined to the basic functions of planning, organizing, directing, staffing and controlling. That may fit neatly into the comfort zone for some people, but it doesn’t fit the way businesses operate today. As the competitive environment changes and the old work rules are discarded, the role of manager is becoming a lot more flexible.

When you’re managing people in a rapidly changing and fluid world, you need more skills than ever. It’s no longer sufficient, if it ever was, to simply be the smartest person in the room. As mentioned, the best managers are great leaders. This means they have both the hard and the soft skills to get the best from their people. 

Much has been written about leadership styles. But perhaps more important than any particular style are the things that great managers do every day. 

What Does Good Management Look Like in Practice?

If you want to know how to be a good manager, follow these seven essential tips every day:

Manage Up

New paradigms for leadership largely turn the top-down model on its head. Good managers aren’t simply following instructions received from on high. When you cultivate good relationships with your own managers, you’ll better understand the pressures and motivations behind their decisions. When the relationship is good, managers can even offer respectful feedback. In turn, your managers can learn how to best advocate for your success. 

Invest in the Next-Generation Leaders

As a manager in the current environment, you don’t have time to micromanage. You must manage to meet goals and objectives. This allows others to learn valuable skills and flex their problem-solving and leadership muscle. More importantly, you have the responsibility of creating new leaders. As a strong manager, you can rely on the people around you because you have taught them well and delegated tasks to them.

Favor Innovation Over Rinse-and-Repeat

A few decades ago, managers were focused on efficiency and productivity. This meant processes that were reliable and repeatable. Make no mistake, businesses still need a high level of efficiency. However, the companies with the most sustainable business models for the future are those that take risks. They aren’t afraid to try something new. It’s not strictly about technology. Rather, it’s about empowering people to discover the possibilities. If you aren’t innovating, you can be assured that some scrappy new startup is finding a way to do what you do, only better. 

Manage From the Inside Out

You can’t manage from outside the team. The best managers aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. This isn’t simply an improved version of managing by walking around. It’s managing by getting involved. Managers who master this skill have the opportunity to identify strengths and weaknesses in their team and to better understand their pain points. In order to do it most effectively, however, you must walk a fine line between being a team player and taking over. As a manager, it’s your job to provide the “what,” for example, the deliverables. To the extent possible, avoid telling people “how” to do their jobs. 

Share Knowledge

The rapidly changing business environment means that yesterday’s education and skills quickly become obsolete. You don’t have to be an expert in every new technology or management philosophy that crops up. But you do need to understand the extent of change. When you are busy with job responsibilities and home life, it can seem impossible. Fortunately, you never need to step into a bookstore, library or classroom to learn something new. Take time out of your busy schedule to read, take an online course, follow a blog, or have lunch with a colleague in your industry or another. Then share the information you collect and teach others what you know. 

Encourage Team Problem-Solving

Encourage problem-solving among your employees. It removes the pressure from you to always be the fixer. Further, it builds a critical skill that will make your company more profitable in the long run. Solicit ideas, ask for input and encourage team members to share. This has the additional benefit of helping employees think more holistically about where the business is headed and what the future challenges might be. Remember that if your team isn’t making any mistakes, they may be playing it too safe. 

Pursue the Greater Good

Good managers are selfless. Certainly, they want what is best for their employees, customers, partners and the company. But the concept of the greater good extends even further. Good managers understand that their actions have consequences for the community and the world. They work to ensure that they do no harm. 

What Are the Benefits of Strong Management?

When a company has strong managers, it benefits in many ways. 

Attracts and Retains Better Talent

Word gets around when a company is well managed. Managers that invest in their professional growth mentor others around them and have no trouble attracting good employee candidates, while also being able to retain current employees.

Sustains Growth Into the Future

Employees are more engaged with good management. They’re better able to ensure that the company is positioned for long-term growth and able to outperform the competition.

Builds Credibility for the Brand

A strong managerial base provides stability for the company. It fortifies the values and builds products and services that promote the brand and enhance the company’s reputation.

Becomes a Better Corporate Citizen

Managers create an environment where all employees think beyond the walls of the company toward the partnerships they have created, the customers they serve and the broader business community. Corporate giving programs, for example, are one of the ways to practice good corporate citizenship.

One way to include charitable giving as a corporate value is with a charitable giving program. You can match employee contributions or support employee volunteer efforts. Groundswell automates charitable giving and makes it an easily administered part of your employee benefits package

Good Management Means Change

Management has evolved. The requirements for how to be a good manager have less to do with control and more to do with how well managers can inspire others to perform at the highest levels. These managers are adept at handling a diversity of ideas, opinions and approaches to getting the work done. They freely share their knowledge and help others to be the best version of themselves. These are the managers that will sustain the best companies in the future.

If you’re interested in a corporate giving program that will capture the hearts of your employees, Groundswell is the way to go. We make corporate giving easy. Find out how you can get a leg up on the Talent War. Contact us for more information.