There have been many blogs and articles written about the value and importance of having a strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. Companies of all sizes are recognizing that CSR helps set them apart from their competition, attract top-notch talent, and publicly demonstrate their commitment to their employees, communities, sustainability, and more.
This blog hopes to add to the ongoing conversation of Why Do We Care by looking specifically at CSR and how companies are aligning the goals and values of the company with the personal interests of employees. Companies recognize the value of CSR to motivate and engage today’s changing workforce and the value that comes from sponsoring a wide range of opportunities for employees to be a part of a company’s broader CSR strategies. This is particularly important in an era where a majority of Millennials and other young professionals are seeking employment with companies that care about more than just the bottom line.
AmeriGives Consulting, now a part of Good Done Great, conducted a CSR benchmark survey late last year. From the findings we learn that employee engagement programs are playing a larger and more significant role in addressing employee expectations. Indeed these employee programs have become the foundation of most CSR programs with companies indicating that employee giving and volunteer programs were among the top priorities for their company’s CSR strategies.
We gain further insight into why companies view employee engagement programs as critical to their CSR efforts from a report by America’s Charities and released in December 2015. The research found that 86% of companies said employees expect them to provide opportunities to engage in the community and 87% believe their employees expect them to support causes and issues that matter to those employees.
The America’s Charities study also documents the thinking that CSR activities are important tools to attract talented and qualified employees by revealing that nearly 90% agree that effective employee engagement programs help attract and retain employees.
Employees bring their values and passions to the workplace. These employees are motivated by having programs that allow them to connect with peers, support their favorite causes and personal philanthropic interests and do something worthwhile all at the same time. Working for a company that provides them with these opportunities is important and serves as a motivator in helping build the company and its brand.
Companies know that providing volunteer opportunities is not only an important way to engage their employees but they encourage team work, provide a mechanism to connect with peers and colleagues, promotes brand recognition and helps set them apart as being a good neighbor.
Employee Engagement programs become a key intersection of corporate and employee social responsibility goals and objectives. For this reason, giving and volunteering at the workplace is alive and well. Of course, they are evolving to meet the changing needs but for now and into the future these programs will be a strong foundation upon which companies build stronger social responsibility strategies.
Engaging employees can have transformative value on the employees, their colleagues and in the communities where they live and work. Workplace giving and volunteering are no longer viewed as expectations but rather they have become expressions of who we are. Mutual benefits occur to the company, its employees and the community when all stakeholders are aligned and unified in addressing the social and environmental needs of our society.