The Tool Shed Blog

Employee Engagement: Fostering a Giving Culture for Retention

It's no secret…

Remote work is increasing worldwide at an unprecedented rate.

“Success is proportional to the degree to which you let people stay in their pajamas” - Dharmesh Shah, Co-Founder and CTO of HubSpot

Coming from a family business in the HVAC industry, it took me a bit to understand this perspective.

After adopting it, I couldn't agree more with Dharmesh. 

If you haven't caught the drift, the workplace is constantly evolving, and it's important for companies to understand the impact that leadership decisions can have on building a strong organizational culture.

Creating a positive work environment is no easy task, but it's essential for the success of any company.

In this blog, we will cover the key topics to keep in mind when building a strong culture in your organization.

As you read, consider the ways you can positively impact the lives of the people in your company. Leading companies recognize the importance of a strong culture and work to cultivate it.

The leading companies understand that creating a positive culture in the work environment is no easy task.

There is so much to consider:

  • How can my organization focus on creating a culture of giving in the workplace?
  • What are our core values?
  • How does our company give feedback?
  • How do our employees adapt to culture change?
  • Are the managers in the company promoting a positive culture with constructive feedback and collaboration?
  • How do we increase productivity while promoting a learning culture?
  • Is our company focused on diversity and inclusion?
  • How do we embrace innovation?
  • What opportunities do we have when considering employee retention?
  • What can we do to improve communication about ideas?
  • Are we collecting employee engagement insights?

As you can imagine, I can sit here and list out an endless list of questions that a CEO or Chief Culture Officer may ask when considering how to improve culture in a business.

What has worked for us here at gardenpatch is promoting an environment of giving and collaboration.

Remember that Givers Gain Immensely

In my opinion, creating a culture of giving in the workplace is the most important factor to a company's success with their employees in 2023.

Positive culture doesn't come from posting cheesy quotes on the wall or claiming to have core values (even though no one follows them.)

Positive culture comes from constructive feedback, an environment that focuses on listening to employee feedback and understanding how to make a positive impact on employee morale.

Here are 7 things you can consider in your company today to help keep your employees engaged while creating a culture of giving:

1. Encourage employee engagement.

One of the keys to unlocking growth and innovation in your company is to encourage employee engagement. By giving your team the opportunity to participate in the conversation, you can challenge them to think outside the box and push the boundaries of what is possible.

When people feel like they have a voice and can make a difference, they are more likely to get involved and challenge the status quo. This not only leads to a more positive and collaborative work environment, but it can also help to identify and remove any potential roadblocks to growth.

By fostering an environment where your employees feel valued and empowered to make a difference, you can unlock a wealth of creativity and innovation that may not have been possible otherwise.

2. Hiring is a slow process. So is firing.

I've heard it said over and over again.

"Hire slow, fire fast."

But why?

I recently mentioned this to a colleague and she mentioned that she prefers the idea of hiring slow and firing slow.

Initially I was confused by the idea, but then I realized that there are many times where you may have the right people, but they may be in the wrong roles.

In order to increase employee retention you must understand how to increase employee engagement and to do so you must make sure that you have people in the right seats. 

I recommend giving employees the opportunity to volunteer and explore dynamic roles for opportunity to see if they are a better fit elsewhere. 

This allows team members to find a path for internal growth that aligns with their personal and professional goals increasing the rate of retention you have amongst your employees.

Everyone can bring value if looked at with compassion and inclusion.

3. Be open to receiving feedback.

As an employer, it's important to be open to receiving feedback from your employees. This can be difficult, as it's natural to want to defend your actions and decisions.

But by being open to feedback, you show your team that you value their opinions and are willing to listen to their ideas. This can help to foster a more engaged and collaborative work environment, where people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and suggestions.

One way to promote the use of feedback in your organization is to encourage the use of one-on-one meetings. These meetings can be a great opportunity for employees to give constructive feedback in a safe and supportive environment.

During these meetings, encourage your team to share their thoughts and ideas, as well as any tensions or opportunities for improvement that they see. By creating a space where people feel comfortable speaking up, you can create an environment where feedback is seen as a valuable tool for promoting growth and innovation. You can also create employee engagement survey questions and send out a survey, providing the option to provide anonymous feedback.

It's important to remember that feedback is not always easy to hear. As a leader, it's your responsibility to listen with the intent to understand, rather than to defend yourself.

By being open to feedback and taking the time to listen and consider what your team has to say, you can create a culture of continuous improvement and unlock new opportunities for growth.

4. Promote a healthy work-life balance and a healthy work-life integration.


People have lives outside of work.

I hate to break this to you if you are one of the thousands of business owners who forget that you employees are people too.

With families… 

...and friends…

…. and hobbies, and things that they engage with outside of your organization that fills their cup.

As you consider how to create a culture of engaged employees who promote a giving culture, you want to remember that it's important that the company gives their people enough time and flexibility to enjoy the precious moments in life.

This is where work-life integration comes in.

There are moments where an integration between work and life helps increase flexibility and productivity.

When people have their needs met they are more likely to have positive performance.

Creating specific opportunities for employees to find work-life balance while also considering how they can integrate their work into their life allows people to maximize their gifts and talents and bring their very best to the work they do with your company.

5. Create plenty of opportunities for employee volunteering.

One way to encourage employee engagement and promote a positive work culture is to create plenty of employee engagement opportunities. That can include opportunities for employees to do some volunteering.

When your team has easy and accessible ways to volunteer both within and outside of the organization, they can associate your company with a culture of service and giving. This can help to foster a sense of purpose and connection among your remote team as they come together to help others and make a positive impact in their communities.

There are many different ways to create opportunities for employee volunteering, from organizing a group service project to encouraging individuals to take time off to volunteer on their own.

Whatever approach you choose, be sure to make it easy for your team to get involved. This might mean providing resources, such as a list of local organizations that need volunteers or offering time off for volunteering during work hours.

By creating a culture of giving and service, you can help your employees to feel more connected and engaged with your organization. And as a bonus, you may be surprised by the positive spillover effects that come from empowering your team to give back and make a difference.

6. Create a kick-ass onboarding process.

New employees are fresh and experience the greatest opportunity for a positive impact on work culture.

During the first few weeks at your company is when new team members will set the tone and understand the rules of engagement within your company. 

This is your time to shine and set the standard. 

In the onboarding process it is important to get employees aligned about core values, company culture, and how to give feedback to members of all levels of the organization.

Allow your onboarding process to be a direct representation of your work environment and the work culture in your company.

Keep in mind that the process is an iterative one. Create a process that evolves and improves as your company grows.

7. Have fun.


I'm serious.

Not enough companies pay enough attention to the role "fun" has in promoting a culture of engaged givers. 

This is number 7 on my things to consider when you want to keep your employees engaged while creating a culture of giving.


Because people want to feel good and have a good time

Especially at work.

I was at Chick-Fil-A the other day, and I couldn't help but ask why the young man collecting payments at the drive-through was running back and forth while the line was stuck waiting for food orders to be given out at the window ahead.

I stopped and asked him why he was running rather than just waiting for cars to catch up to him.

"It's more fun this way," he said.

It was a bit of an epiphany, but little did this young guy realize that he was truly onto something.

Often companies that have more fun find themselves experiencing higher levels of productivity.


As you consider the role that a positive company culture can play in the success of your organization, it's worth noting that many companies that focus on giving and service tend to experience stronger cultures overall. This may be because employees who feel like they are part of a team that is making a positive impact in the world are more likely to be engaged and motivated to do their best work.

If you're looking for help aligning your sales, marketing, service, people, and technology to create a culture of giving, gardenpatch may be the secret sauce you've been looking for. We specialize in helping companies curate the missing "wow" moments in their growth flywheel, and we can provide the guidance and support you need to prepare for the future of organizational culture.

If you have any questions or if you're interested in learning more about how we can help your company grow better, don't hesitate to reach out to us today. We're here to help you create a culture that promotes growth and success.


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