A recent article (below) from HR Magazine, throws some interesting light on the “wider picture” benefits of undertaking CSR initiatives in the workplace:
“The Government has been busy lending its support to initiatives aimed at improving the engagement of businesses with wider society.
The Big Society project has now been re-launched with £40 million of funding, to encourage greater voluntary work participation. In addition, the Employee Engagement Task Force (EETF) has been set up to boost prosperity by offering businesses practical ways of motivating staff.
HR professionals should be asking what this means for them and what the tangible business benefits are that they can ‘sell’ to stakeholders within their organisation to encourage take-up.
An important point to make is that independent research has shown that employees want to take part in charitable initiatives during work time and believe that their relationship with their employer is strengthened as a result.
In a survey carried out in April this year of 1,000 UK employees, 63% said that they would feel significantly more ‘engaged’ with their employer if it allowed charitable working. The benefits of this improved engagement for the employer include increased productivity, less staff turnover, fewer sick days and a generally happier workplace. This trend was even more marked among the 20-30-year-old bracket, the so-called ‘generation Y’. Nearly 70% of this group said that they would feel more engaged by taking part in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and criticised senior management, with over half saying it was ‘out of touch’ with the wants and values of generation Y.
What is clear from the research is that there is pent-up demand from employees for their employers to allow paid them time off for charitable activities. To attract, retain and motivate employees it is vital that organisations look for more inventive ways of engagement and offer them more than just numbers and pay grades.
Employee engagement and corporate integrity also play a vital role in brand reputation. A recent joint report from the United Nations and Accenture surveying CEOs from 750 of the world’s largest companies revealed that the majority of CEOs see employee engagement and business sustainability as a top driver for customer and employee loyalty”