VOLUNTEERISM: An integral part of SA Corporate Citizens
Share this article:
In difficult times, when economic conditions are tough, the spirit of giving and caring tends to diminish and individualism takes centre stage. This, however, is not the case in South Africa, according to the key findings of the Sage Foundation People Powering Change research.
This was also emphasised during the IOL BizTech Talks podcast where Joanne van der Walt, Sage Foundation Promotions Director, spoke at length about the key highlights of the research. One element that stood out from the research is that volunteerism matters.
“Volunteerism is today, a cornerstone of corporate philanthropy in South Africa, with most companies giving employees the opportunity to invest some of their working time into causes they care about.
This is not only about giving back to the community – it’s a way for companies to help teams bond, deliver a meaningful employee experience, and improve their employer brand,” said Van der Walt.
This has been confirmed by the findings of the research which showed nearly half (48%) of South African employees cited their employer’s commitment to corporate philanthropy as a major driver for working for the organisation, a number that rises to 54% among employees aged below 45 years.
This is based on information gathered from 1000 employees in South Africa and across the world on their views on corporate philanthropy and volunteering. Participants in the survey also pointed out in large numbers that commitment to social philanthropy makes their organisation a more attractive place to work, and as many said it was a reason to continue working for their employer.
Van der Walt also highlighted that “Employees today increasingly want to feel that they’re working for an organisation motivated by a purpose that goes beyond profit. South Africans, and especially the younger members of the population, are looking for a rewarding and meaningful workplace that allows them to give something back.
At Sage, we believe in corporate philanthropy and we do this by providing employees with five wellness days a year. We also welcomed 63 young professionals into a graduate programme this financial year, supporting them with life skills, work readiness training, workplace mentorship, and coaching.”
Sage Foundation is an exemplary organisation in this regard. The philanthropic organisation during the pandemic supported many who were facing challenging times during this period. An outstanding example is the use of a Bot called, Rainbow, which was instrumental in assisting women who were facing domestic abuse to find resources for support.
In addition, Sage employees have an opportunity to spend time doing good for a set amount of days during a year. This approach has been welcomed by employees and contributed to their satisfaction levels of working within Sage.
You can listen to the interview here and learn more about how people are powering change through volunteerism.