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The Neuroscience Behind Corporate Goodness & Engagement

Giving back feels good – really good. When you give, the “glow” you experience is so vibrant it carries over into other aspects of life and work.

Giving, volunteering, and bettering a social cause make people feel amazing, so what does it look like to infuse more of this ethos into our world?

Enter neuroscience and the world of social enterprise.

the science of doing good

Neuroscientists think prosocial behaviours like volunteering, donating money to strangers in need, or actions that provide a positive impact on others can boost your brain’s oxytocin levels (playfully called the “morale molecule”) by as much as 50%. Wowzers!

When people give willingly, studies show the pleasure center of the brain lights up and oxytocin is released. Performing philanthropic acts causes our bodies to release different “happiness chemicals” creating a reaction similar to a runner’s high, known as the warm glow of giving.

So what does this all have to do with the world of social enterprise?

As humans are hardwired to do good, social enterprises make it their mission as businesses to do good at the corporate level.  Fun fact: Kelowna’s Innovation Centre is home to a variety of diverse social enterprises like Trellis who are putting purpose before profit. Social enterprises make it their mission to provide solutions to complex world problems as they create impactful improvements in financial, environmental and social well-being.   

Researchers note that humanity’s secret to success as a species has been our ability to socially cooperate. We collaborate to ensure the survival of community groups we are affiliated with. As humans, we’ve evolved to cooperate. We’re hardwired to help others.

Oxytocin – or behaviours like giving that result in its release – may help form social bonds that underlie the authentic, lasting engagement of employees and customers. Research shows that oxytocin plays a role in forming the social bonds that create a strong sense of affiliation and connectedness paramount to engagement. When an employee or company is authentically connected to benevolence, the quality of their work is rated by consumers as higher.

increasing employee engagement by doing good

Authentic engagement isn’t really about kitschy gimmicks. It has to do with creating a real emotional connection involving a person, their peers and the company they work for.

Give your team what they really want.

People want to be engaged. Ample psychological research demonstrates that fulfillment and happiness – both personal and professional – derive from having a sense of purpose, meaning, or connection.

When team members see their company helping them attain a sense of meaning by doing good, they form deeper emotional connections to their company and coworkers.

When companies keep giving in mind and champion causes they care about, this provides fantastic opportunities to genuinely engage their workforce while attracting and retaining other valued people!

Champions are individuals or businesses like you who give back to the community. Host an event on behalf of a charity. Raise awareness and support a cause you believe in.

Want to become good-cause approved? Our Trellis team can get you set up with a spiffy looking event in less than 5 minutes. Book a demo and plug into a feel-good cause that will benefit you, your coworkers, and your community.