Is company culture your biggest competitive advantage?

Today’s employees are rapidly evolving with the demands and trends that shape us – a lot of us no longer work just to make a living; we want to be part of something bigger. The work we do has to be meaningful and rewarding on a deeper level. And maybe even make a difference to the world.

Now more than ever, organisations looking to attract and retain talent need to recognise that their values are changing.

It’s no longer enough to just be part of a company culture. Employees want to be an active citizen and engage in a community that allows them to support the things that they care about – a culture of purpose. 

Employee disengagement costs the UK economy £340bn annually and is evidently eroding UK productivity. Management strategies must evolve to meet employee needs if organisations are to retain staff and remain competitive.

To build a culture of employee engagement, it’s important to understand the difference between engagement, commitment and a sense of purpose.

Engagement drives commitment, which in turn helps to instill purpose – whereas the reverse is very seldom possible. 

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We help our clients to optimally engage their employees in giving and encouraging socially responsible behaviours. 

To get support with employee engagement solutions best suited to your operating environment, company culture and your level of resources, speak to us today by emailing and we’ll be in touch to set up a meeting.

Engagement, commitment and purpose

A combination of the below forms the basis for building a culture where employees show up everyday with presence and passion.

Engage staff with payroll giving


Employee engagement generates focus and energy. Engaged employees go above and beyond because they feel part of a larger purpose.


Employee commitment is an employee’s positive emotional attachment to the business. They need to be both committed and engaged to go the extra mile.


When employers include their employees in the wider vision planning, like designing their socially responsible programme, they will feel part of something bigger.

Do all employees prefer culture over salary?

It is also very important to not just focus on a younger generation of employees entering the workforce. A lot of the older generation share the same sentiment – they want to feel engaged and want to know that purpose is at the heart of the organisation they work for.

YouGov survey, commissioned by food and drink company Danone UK, explores just how important it is for companies to have a purpose beyond profit. They found that:

  • 27% of managers in British companies are likely to accept a salary cut to work for a company that has a clear purpose beyond profit
  • 32% would consider leaving their job if a greater purpose was unclear
  • 53% would consider leaving their job if the company’s values didn’t align with their own

The impact of engaged employees

It’s no secret that employees who champion their brand drive organisational growth – but the impact can be much more vivid than that.

Creating a culture of engagement leads to:

  • Employees are more philanthropically minded

Positioning philanthropy as part of your company culture helps to engage employees and make them feel more fulfilled at work. If the company encourages socially responsible behaviours like volunteering, fundraising and payroll giving, engaged employees are more likely to take advantage of these opportunities.

  • Employees are better communicators

Studies estimate that poor communication skills can cost organisations up to £25,000 per employee, per year. When an employee cares about their work, they are likely to communicate more effectively with their co-workers. Engaged employees will be better at participating in group activities and discussions, aiding innovation, collaboration and customer satisfaction.

Employees who feel more fulfilled add significant value which results in:

Better profit and sustainable growth

The age-old struggles of talent retention and attraction are still experienced by many businesses. Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. Engaged teams are more profitable thanks to the 41% reduction in absenteeism and 59% less turnover.

Greater customer satisfaction

Engaged employees are more productive, which leads to better service and directly impacts customer satisfaction and loyalty - 7 out of 10 customers state that they will spend 13% more money with a company that provides excellent customer service.

More innovation

Engaged employees are more likely to collaborate and innovative at work. This benefit is one of the key reasons companies like Netflix and Microsoft spend so much time on engaging their employees. This helps them to stay at the forefront of their markets.

Tools for building engagement

The good and the bad news is that there isn’t a one size fits all approach to building culture. It will look different in every organisation, which makes the challenge unique and creates space to use innovative ways to define your culture.

A WeSpire study on the state of employee engagement in 2018 highlight strategy and communication as key considerations.

Employees will spend time on initiatives that they perceive as important. Demonstrate the importance of employee engagement programmes and make sure company leaders emphasise that participating in engagement initiatives is an integral part of company culture and not just a nice to have. Having a strategy matters.

Transparency and communication is essential for an engaged workforce. When creating employee engagement programmes, ask your employees about their interests and build programmes based on their ideas, opinion and feedback.

When putting together your strategy and communication, it is important to take a holistic look. Take into account physical and mental wellbeing, personal development, human connections to create opportunities for employees to contribute to the things they care about and speak to their purpose.

A simple way to bring more purpose to the workplace is to effectively drive your payroll giving scheme, find a charity partner, encourage employee fundraising or volunteering days or offer skills-based volunteering programmes.

At CAF, we can help with creating opportunities for employees to contribute to the things they care about.

Download your employment engagement guide today

Our guide is designed to help you with everything you need to know, from insights about how to promote your scheme, to top tips and templates for use in your internal communications.

Download your guide

CAF Give As You Earn

We enable thousands of employers to support their employees through payroll giving, to give to causes they care about with CAF Give As You Earn:

  • Easy to set up and use as an engagement tool

  • Donate to any UK charity and add or change donation amount at any time

  • Tax-effective so that even more money can go to charities

CAF Matching

Matched giving (also known as match funding) gives your employees the chance to boost their fundraising since you match the money they’ve raised:

  • A great way to show support for the causes close to your employees' hearts

  • Bespoke matching solution to suite your pocket and your programme

  • Boosts the perception of your company and appeal to prospective staff

  • Tax-effective and can be deducted from your organisation’s corporation tax

Staff Charity Fund

Bring employees together and combine their charitable efforts with a Staff Charity Fund. This can be used to pool employee donations in one pot in order for a more substantial donation to be made:

  • Unifies efforts for your chosen cause to engage employees

  • A great vehicle to link together different activities within your programmes

  • Support charity partners or use can be used for disaster and last hour appeals
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