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Employers Giving Back Score Big with Employees

COVID-19 Weekly Culture Pulse Survey: April 6-10, 2020

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Organizations that made a significant or moderate contribution to their communities during the COVID-19 crisis saw a 380% increase in employee net promoter score (NPS).

A global medical crisis presents prime opportunities for organizations to step up and contribute to their local communities in meaningful ways. Their efforts Employers Giving Back Score Big—COVID-19 Weekly Culture Pulse 2 help both the workers who are on the front lines performing critical roles, as well as those who are suffering as a result of the crisis. This week’s culture pulse survey highlights a less obvious benefit to giving—positive growth in employee feelings of satisfaction, purpose, and loyalty.

Helping employees feel connected to giving

In the national news, we’ve seen companies like home-improvement retailers Home Depot and Lowes donate as much as $10 million each in essential protective products to local hospitals. They have also committed as much as $25 million to help communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. These philanthropic efforts are doing more than helping communities, they are showing employees they’re part of a great company and making them feel like they belong to something bigger. These home-improvement retailers are not alone. Organizations nationwide are stepping up their efforts to help communities battle COVID-19.

Here at our organization, O.C. Tanner, leaders announced that the engineering team would help to immediately design and manufacture urgently needed medical devices and donate them to local hospitals. This won admiration in the community and inspired company employees as well. But can those good feelings be measured?

A majority of employers are giving back

More than half of employees in our pulse survey (56.3%) reported that their organization had engaged is some way with their local communities. Note that the real number may be higher, but some organizations may not have been as effective at communicating their community giving stories to employees. If you are unsure if employees know how your organization has contributed, it is safe to say they don’t. Communicate it today.

Of those who reported giving during the COVID-19 crisis, 93% of employees identified their organizations’ contributions as either significant or moderate, with half of respondents in each of those two categories. Only 6.6% of employees reported that their organizations’ contributions were minor (such as supporting information outreach efforts to employees and others). Here are a few of the types of contributions reported.

Below are specific examples of community giving identified by pulse survey respondents.


Large financial donations to local charities to support workers struggling with food security.

Donations of out-of-warranty computer equipment and other supplies to local grade schools to support low-income students.

Donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks, and full-body suits to local hospitals and clinics.


Donations of food items that are no longer needed to local food pantries.

Smaller monetary donations and matching of employee contributions (one organization offered a company match for all COVID-19 relief donations greater than $25).

Another positive result of giving back? A substantial 143% increase in organizational loyalty.

Earning company culture dividends

Our survey found that those employees who reported either significant or moderate contributions by their organization during the crisis were greatly affected. The evidence didn’t only show up in the NPS scores. It also contributed to boosted numbers in other areas like purpose, engagement, and motivation. The results are substantial, including:

143% INCREASE in organizational loyalty

42% INCREASE in belonging

16% INCREASE in overall satisfaction

14% INCREASE in the overall Purpose talent magnet, with the following dimensions contributing the most:

28% INCREASE in motivational action

16% INCREASE in positive effect

27% INCREASE in differentiation from competitors

39% INCREASE in the strong reputation dimension of the Success talent magnet

The positive feelings attributable to an organization’s community giving are significant. These feel-good experiences help offset some of the more negative emotions employees feel due to other aspects of the pandemic. But it’s no surprise that community giving scores high with employees who live and work in the communities affected by a crisis.

Stay tuned to our COVID-19 weekly culture pulse surveys for insights that will help your organization to weather the storm.

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