How Can Doing Good Help Companies Improve Their Culture After A Layoff?

After a tumultuous time at a company that has just gone through a layoff, many employees worry about their job security and the working environment they’re left with. Corporate philanthropy can fortify a company’s foundation and strengthen employee resolve.


Following predictions of a recession, we’ve seen a staggering number of layoffs, particularly across the tech sector. Now on the other side of a difficult transition period, impacted companies face the challenge of improving company culture in a way that encourages innovation, belonging, safety, and connection. Many employees lack psychological safety, have concerns about another layoff, and experience survivor’s guilt about previous downsizing. This impacts productivity and a company’s overall performance in an already tough economy.

Job security is not the only thought on employees’ minds. Not too long ago, the Great Resignation was a movement in response to toxic cultures characterized by a spike in voluntary employee turnover. The Harris Poll shares that from a survey of more than 1,000 full-time and part-time adults, “More employees worry about worsening company culture (52%) than getting laid off (42%).” Not addressing company culture following a company-wide layoff can be disastrous for employee retention at any organization.

What should companies that have undergone layoffs do to rebuild their culture and trust?

Begin by understanding that rebuilding a culture in today’s current social landscape differs from how it was done in the past. Current insights from Gallup indicate millennials and Gen Z have different motivations in today’s evolving workforce. Co-founder and CEO of Roc Nation Desiree Perex underscores how centering corporate philanthropy has bolstered their business culture in a recent Forbes article, saying “It has become an ingrained part of our corporate culture and helps us attract and retain talented people for whom our mission runs deep.”

Before you develop a new corporate culture, first listen and take note of what it would look like to establish trust and connections with your employees. “It would be difficult to support your workforce without information on specific areas where teams require help, according to “Thus, we encourage organizations to conduct regular company-wide surveys and seek ways to implement suggestions.”

Once you’ve gathered your employees’ insights, assess your people and culture strategy, and consider the role social good and corporate philanthropy can play. When done right, it can help repair trust with your employees to avoid voluntary turnover, grow your brand’s reputation to attract high-quality talent, and even bolster your customer engagement strategy.

Here are ways you can include social good and corporate philanthropy to improve company culture:

    1. Set an employee-aligned corporate philanthropy strategy. Diversity and inclusion is one of the top forces driving younger generations to join and stay at companies. Increasingly, employees also want to see leaders take a clear and honest stance on ESG issues and sustainability. That said, companies that can translate what matters most to their employees in today’s world into their corporate philanthropy strategy will send a positive message.

    2. Recognize employees. TeamBuilding shares that “An effective way to reassure your team members is by appreciating their efforts in everyday tasks.” Instead of gifting employee swag, consider how you can help recognize employees with charitable gift cards and a corporate match. Recognizing employees can help rebuild trust no matter the size or shape of the organization. Alternatively, you can also consider implementing work anniversary awards (also known as service awards). Try using this quiz to explore how to use GlobalGiving Gift Cards to recognize your employees.

    3. Organize charitable team-building activities. One research study found that charitable social incentives can lead to a 13% rise in productivity. One multinational business intelligence and analytics company runs an annual global Employee Fitness Challenge where all participating employees receive charitable gift cards, and the top three winners receive larger gifts. Employees are then able to donate to featured charities aligned with the company’s CSR pillars, using their charitable gift cards. To date, this program remains the largest global employee engagement program at their company.

    4. Encourage employee volunteerism. A 2021 Community Involvement research study shows that “96% of companies find that employees who volunteer are more engaged than peers who don’t volunteer.” Employees want to connect not only to others in their company but also to their community, and companies that can provide employees the avenue to do so can help restore a culture of belonging and connection when it’s needed most. If you don’t have a volunteer program and are looking to build one, start by reviewing this guide.

As leaders look for answers on how to improve company culture, it is important to understand how doing social good can serve as a pillar in a company’s overall culture strategy. Most of all, employees are looking at company leaders to live up to their corporate values and principles that led them to first join the company. Thinking about social good from the lens of a company’s values and principles can help remind employees of the lost sense of purpose, belonging, connection, and trust.

Learn how GlobalGiving can help you create a lasting company culture through social good.


Featured Photo: Empower Maya Youth in a Post-Genocide Community by Limitless Horizons IXIL

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