JB Hi-Fi Helping Hands Workplace Giving Program Benefits The Company’s Bottom Line

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Richard Murray, CEO of JB Hi-Fi  isn’t talking about quarterly profits, instead he is discussing what he considers to be one his greatest achievements as leader of the retailer which has managed to deliver for its investors over the last 15 years despite huge shifts in the retail environment. Mr Murray prefers to talk about running one of the most engaged Workplace Giving programs in Australia which is known as “Helping Hands”. The program is so successful that nearly 80 per cent of JB employees donate to charity from every pay packet.

6000 employees participate

Every week over 6000 JB Hi-Fi employees including senior executives donate part of their pay to one of nine charity partners and those donations are matched dollar for dollar by the company. Mr Murray believes Helping Hands has made a meaningful difference to the company’s bottom line. He believes in the project so much that he has commissioned research to prove his thesis.

Credible business case for charitable giving

The Australian Charities Fund which is the brains, driver and thought leader when it comes to Workplace Giving (WPG) or pre-tax payroll giving in Australia is collaborating with JB Hi-Fi to prove there is a credible business case for promoting Workplace Giving. The non-profit is seeking to establish which metrics can be used to show the bottom-line benefits for employers to embrace the policy as a fundamental part of their overall community contribution.

Engaging employees

Mr Murray who is the chairperson of the Australian Charities Fund Employer Leadership Group says the business case for his company and other business leaders is that everyone is attempting to engage with their employees in authentic and meaningful ways. He adds that the millennial generation has high expectations of themselves, the community and their employers. Mr Murray says that because Workplace Giving is so transparent, it is a choice made by the individual that ticks a lot of boxes.

Employees prefer working for ethical companies

Jenny Geddes, chief executive of the Australian Charities Foundation says the first stage of the organisation’s research project found that Workplace Giving resulted in an employee base that is more engaged. The research also suggests that young Australians, millennials in particular prefer to work for ethical companies, or companies who seek to have a positive impact on the world.

Important to be proud of giving

Ms Geddes says now is really the right time for this because a younger group of leaders are beginning to establish themselves. She adds that philanthropy tends to be an extremely private thing and continues to do so. People really tend to shun any publicity associated with it, however when it is a giving program that includes all employees, it is important to be part of it and proud of the fact.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

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