How to Foster a Culture of Giving On Your Team


Which kind of company would you rather work at: one where giving is viewed as a strength, or as a weakness?

It’s an easy call, and as a manager, you have more say in the matter than you might think. That’s because research shows there are steps anyone can take to foster an environment where generosity is a valued part of the culture—not just because it’s nice, but because it fuels performance and productivity.

When you take these steps, you’ll find your teams are more cohesive and happier. And since giving has even been shown to expand our sense of time, your direct reports will be better equipped to meet deadlines and expectations. And you don’t need a study to confirm that a workplace where generosity is valued is going to be more pleasant and conducive to quality work.

By nudging your team in the direction of more giving—and by extension, more purpose—you also have an opportunity to be ahead of the curve in a big picture sense. Companies and business leaders around the world are having an important conversation now about the role of purpose in business, and consumers and employees alike are insisting that companies pursue purpose as well as profit.

Being part of this conversation, and taking action by building a giving culture, will differentiate your company and help you attract and retain top talent. Here are three ways you can get started:

1. Make giving part of your vocabulary

In your one-on-one meetings with your employees, make a point to ask your direct reports how you can give them what they need to succeed. Asking “how can I help”—rather than framing it as “what can you give me?”—is a subtle but effective way to show your support.

2. Give back to your community

Your company isn’t an island; it’s part of a larger community. Encourage your team to find ways to give back—by volunteering, supporting local schools, or some other way that resonates with them. If your company doesn’t have a giving program, consider starting one—or organizing a group volunteer outing—and open it up to your team for ideas.

3. Buy lunch for your team members

Every month, take the opportunity to come together with your team members over a meal. Whether in or out of the office, it’ll strengthen relationships and build a sense of mission—in addition to providing a well-deserved break from deadlines and devices. When your direct reports know you value their contributions and company, they’ll pay it forward. 

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Gift Present Celebrate Party Wrapped Simple Concept

The Season of Giving, All Year Round

by Anne Huntington Sharma

5 Ways To Practice Generosity In The Workplace

by Thomas Griffin

4 Good Reasons to Work for a Socially Responsible Business

by Deb Tenenbaum

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.