More and more companies are finding that corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives positively impact employee satisfaction and business in general. In 2018, the highest levels of volunteering were seen in students (24%) and in people employed for under eight hours a week (25%), according to a study by Caf UK. This is likely to be because of the larger amount of free time these groups have. Although many people employed full time would welcome the chance to give back to the community. Facilitating the opportunity for charity and community volunteering is a wise move for HR departments looking to increase employee happiness, and it can also do a lot for the public face of a business. Here are three ways CSR initiatives can benefit your organisation’s employee satisfaction and retention strategy.
1. Employee Engagement and Company Image
Employee engagement is crucial to the success of any business. A highly engaged workforce will put their heart and enthusiasm into their work. But in order for this to happen, employees need to feel an emotional connection with the company they work for. CSR boosts employee satisfaction by helping staff to align their values with their organisations’, thereby increasing a sense of purpose in their work. A 2011 survey of 1,000 employees found that 63% said they would feel more engaged with their company if they were able to do charitable work, with 70% of 20-30 year olds saying they would feel more engaged if they could take part in a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative. An engaged workforce is likely to be more productive, demonstrating a lower staff turnover and a reduced number of sick days.
As well as engaging employees, allowing opportunities for CSR increases the reputation of the company in the community, and encourages customer loyalty.
2. Consistent and Coherent Strategies
For CSR to work for a business, its employees and the community at large, strategies must be clear and consistent. It will not be enough for a CSR policy to simply involve intervals of donating money to charity, as this strategy does not actively engage staff. Therefore, HR departments should look into schemes that are on-going. Opportunities that allow employees to share their time and skills with the community will bring more value to your workforce. This will allow the business to fulfill CSR requirements and give staff the opportunity for team bonding and personal growth. In essence, the business should allow paid time for employees to engage in charitable work.
3. Effective CSR Programmes
For CSR to work in the company’s favour, community outreach is a valuable strategy. Involving businesses with local schools is a popular choice for many HR departments. It can raise the profile of the business while doing positive work in the community. Businesses have found success in mentoring programmes, with one study finding that children with mentors from a fashion company showed improvements in their behaviour and success in school. Mentors can help children’s academic performance, self-esteem and social skills, as well as raising morale among team members. This type of CSR work will not only increase employee satisfaction but will encourage employees to take ownership. Examples of outreach programmes in a school setting could be visiting schools and skills fairs to deliver presentations to enrich students’ learning and awareness of your industry.
Other ideas for volunteering programmes include conservation volunteering, donating your company’s skills to specific charities. Whether that’s branding advice, web design or accounting – or holding fundraising events for a given charity.
It’s important for HR to work out the associated costs. HR should also think about what outreach is viable in the local area. To maximise employee satisfaction and the positive effects for the company through CSR, employees should be paid for their involvement. They should not need to donate their free time. If these elements are considered, community volunteering can be a valuable CSR strategy for any company.
3 ways CSR can help employee satisfaction:
CSR improves employee engagement and employer brand
Paid time for volunteering boosts employee happiness
Community outreach gives employees a new sense of purpose