Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has many benefits for companies, their investors, stakeholders and most importantly, for their employees. Creating an avenue for your employees to contribute to your corporate social responsibility efforts is a great way to foster an engaging and productive work environment. Employee engagement is a crucial factor in today's corporate landscape, and ultimately affects a company's bottom line. Put simply, an engaged employee is a productive employee and productive employee's are what makes a company thrive.
But how does CSR play into employee engagement? Employees want to hear about the good things their company is doing, but they also want to be involved and feel like they are making a difference themselves. According to a recent study, 88% of millennials say their job is more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues. Another study revealed that 67% of consumers prefer to work for a socially responsible company. This means creating effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs is a crucial part of attracting and retaining qualified and engaged employees. Here are a few ways to use your CSR programs to increase employee engagement:
Creating opportunities and incentives for employees to volunteer is proven way to increase morale and engagement. Many companies are now adding "volunteer days" to their PTO packages to encourage employees to give back without sacrificing time off. Other companies creative incentive by offering extra PTO days after a certain number of volunteer hours are logged. You could even plan office volunteer days and events as team-building exercises. According to a 2013 study, people who volunteer report that they feel better emotionally, mentally and physically. The same study revealed that employers find that volunteering employees are less stressed, more engaged, and are developing important work and “people” skills.
A matching gifts program allows an employee's monetary donations to eligible nonprofit organizations to be matched by their employer. This form of employee giving provides extra incentive to donate to causes that are important to the company. Many companies have a threshold for how much they will match. Some programs will also require a minimum dollar amount from an employee in order for their donation to be matched. For example, Company A may require a donation of at least $250 and no more than $1,000 in order to receive a matching gift. Alternatively, Company B may have no minimum requirement and also have different levels of matching gifts thresholds based on employee level. Some companies will even merge their matching gifts programs with their employee volunteer programs by matching fundraising dollars.
Dollars for Doers - also known as volunteer grant programs - allow employees to earn monetary grants from their company for volunteer hours. Generally, an employee volunteers for a certain number of hours per year and they are able to receive a grant of up to $X, to go towards a non-profit organization of either the company or the employee's choosing. Some companies may structure the program on an hourly basis instead, allowing employees to earn a specific dollar amount for every hour they volunteer.
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