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Top companies stay competitive by giving back

7 August 2019 at 4:57 pm
Maggie Coggan
Some of Australia’s largest companies are making community engagement a top priority in a bid to remain competitive, new data shows. 

Maggie Coggan | 7 August 2019 at 4:57 pm


Top companies stay competitive by giving back
7 August 2019 at 4:57 pm

Some of Australia’s largest companies are making community engagement a top priority in a bid to remain competitive, new data shows. 

Results of the GoodCompany’s Top 40 Best Workplaces to Give Back in Australia, found 88 per cent of companies believed community engagement was important to the success of their business.   

Origin Energy topped this year’s list, followed by Sodexo, Accenture, PwC, and Optus. Results were based on how well companies empowered their employees to give back via payroll giving, paid volunteer leave, fundraising activities, and the social benefit strategies they had in place.  

Origin offered staff unlimited paid volunteer leave with a $100 to $250 budget, had open choice payroll giving with matched donations between $5,000 and $10,000, sponsored a number of social benefit programs, and had diversity, gender equity and green energy targets in place. 

Ash Rosshandler, the GoodCompany CEO, told Pro Bono News he believed societal expectations of how companies should be behaving was a driver in their increased community involvement. 

“This push is coming from external stakeholders like customers, and also internal from their staff,” Rosshandler said.  

He said the most noticeable jump in this year’s award results was the paid volunteer time that companies were setting aside. 

In 2018, 87 per cent of companies offered paid time off, a figure that’s jumped to 93 per cent in 2019. In 2018 only 34 per cent of companies offered two or more days, which has swelled to 49 per cent in 2019. 

“Companies definitely appreciate that corporate volunteering is more competitive and by not putting a budget aside for team building volunteering opportunities they actually might fall behind companies who are willing to spend a few dollars on it,” Rosshandler said. 

“People going in for interviews, particularly millennials, are questioning these companies about what they actually do for the community, and how they give back, and unless companies have a great answer and a great purpose, they are only connecting to the head, not the heart.” 

The number of companies now setting a budget to support workplace giving has also risen, from 61 per cent in 2018 to 70 per cent in 2019, with 37 per cent of those companies willing to match up to $1,000 per employee, and 17 per cent having uncapped matching. 

Rosshandler wants companies to become competitive over making it to the number one spot on the list. 

“I hope they do become competitive because the list offers consumers, charities,  potential staff and investors a window into the corporate world about which companies are giving back and how they give,” he said. 

The full top 40 list can be found here. 

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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