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.
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