donation box with food

The holiday season in North America is supposed to be about spreading kindness and joy. It’s a time of year where people are encouraged to concentrate less on themselves and more on loved ones, friends and the less fortunate. A new survey suggests that companies that extend these habits of sharing and kindness beyond just the holiday season are more likely to receive one heck of present: great retention.

Imagine Canada recently shared the findings of its 2019 Corporate Community Investment Report, which surveyed the opinions of 1,500 private sector employees and another 65 Canadian corporations regarding their opinions on community investment. Among the report’s key findings is that 86 percent of employees who say their company is very committed to their community also say they are extremely or very likely to stay with that same company for the next two years. 

It’s also worth noting that half of the respondents say they took into account their employer’s reputation for community work and charitable giving before accepting their job. Nearly a third of those surveyed say they would take a pay cut to work for a more socially progressive company.

When it comes to encouraging employees to stay, through, it’s not just enough for companies to give back. They need to do it well.

“This report sends a nuanced message,” says Bruce MacDonald, Imagine Canada’s president and CEO. “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.”

The findings of Imagine Canada’s survey (which can be read in this press release)  align with what some experts of the jan/san industry have already said — a culture of giving helps a business’ bottom line. For example, Tina Saunder, director of marketing & e-commerce at Nichols, recently discussed how a company’s corporate persona can help drive sales.