Corporate Social Responsibility: Part 3 Engagement
This is the third and final post about corporate social responsibility, or CSR (read post one here and post two here). Have I convinced you there’s something to this yet?? CSR is really just a way to do good through work. It’s a way to create more good without creating more work for yourself. Besides the obvious benefits of creating more good, there are lots of other benefits to CSR. This final post is about how CSR improves your engagement. Not just with the people you’re serving, but also with others who are in your organization. I’m telling you, CSR is really a win-win on every level. To show you this third and final reason why CSR is a win, and here are four reasons how and why you should be doing good through your work (or getting on board with CSR):
Volunteering in Groups
There are a few ways volunteering can lead to better engagement. First, employees can go somewhere and volunteer. It’s something employees can make a day out of. This is something bigger organizations especially have been doing to improve engagement. You’ll often see bank employees, health care employees, Starbucks employees, etc. going out to events and representing their company. You might see them as a team at your community’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s or at your city’s local park cleaning up. Getting these groups out there doesn’t just help represent your organization, it also gives employees a chance to bond outside of the office, in a fun and different setting. A lot of the times when we think of team building we think of going to a brewery or wine tasting. I love those, but I also love team building by giving back. I get to see my coworkers in a new light and we get to connect in a way we can’t normally connect at work.
When companies are more involved in CSR, it helps employees identify with the company. We like to be associated with good things, and work is no exception. Employees are proud to be associated with a company that gives back and is concerned about more than the bottom line. It sounds obvious but this is something that can get overlooked.
Giving Back to a Cause Employees Care About
Do you ever walk into work and think, “It feels like no one wants to be here right now.” It feels that way because it’s true. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, a whopping 53% of employees are not engaged in their work. Yep. That’s a lot of people who don’t want to be at work. On the flip side, when people are doing work that they know can benefit others though, through things like CSR, they’re more engaged. We like to know that what they’re doing is making an impact. We like to know that we can help make change happen. Humans want to feel important and when you’re working somewhere 40+ hours a week and you don’t feel like you’re making an impact in can really eat at you. Being engaged in CSR is one way to help employees feel engaged and proud.
Skill Based CSR
This is one of my favorite ways get people engaged. This shows people how truly valuable they are and what could be better than that? We all know something that a lot of other people don’t. Even the most boring stuff about your job can be important! You have skills you can share with others and really help them. There are lots of shelters and educational institutions who are trying to teach the people they serve skills and trades that will make them hireable. They’re teaching them the very same skills you know like the back of your hand. You and people at your organization can help nonprofits by teaching them your trade. Or, you can donate your skills. Maybe you own a restaurant and know a nonprofit who is having a fundraiser and needs servers. You can send your servers over to that event. Maybe you're in web design and know a nonprofit whose website is in need of some upgrades. You can send an employee to help update the website and teach that organization’s staff how to do future updates. All of the skills that you have can be really valuable to nonprofits with tight budgets and limited resources. Call nonprofits whose mission resonates with you and ask if there’s any way you can donate your trade or your time to helping them achieve their goals.
Okay Do-Gooders, that’s a wrap on CSR. I know CSR sounds super boring but I love it. A lot of us are working 40 hours a week so why not make those 40 hours do more and create more good in the world? It’s a win for others, it’s a win for marketing, and it’s a win for coworkers.
Until next time Do-Gooders, keep putting more good in the world!