Real Leaders

The 5 Benefits of Increasing Your Corporate Social Responsibility

As social and environmental causes become more mainstream, people want to feel like they’re making a difference in the world.

Forty+ hour work weeks can make social responsibility and charitable efforts challenging to squeeze in, however, if this is built into company culture, it makes being socially or environmentally responsible much easier.

By integrating social responsibility into corporate culture, a company may become more attractive to prospective employees, while simultaneously increasing current employee engagement. Overall, implementing corporate social responsibility into company structure enables companies to attract and retain the best talent while positively impacting society as a whole. These are just a couple of the reasons why many employment candidates are seeking companies with a strong foundation in corporate responsibility. Here are five benefits of increasing corporate responsibility efforts.

1. Attract candidates who are focused on company mission, not the pay

The numbers are quite staggering. People are serious about making positive change in society and the environment and would go pretty far to work at a company that aligns with their beliefs. 93% of employees/job seekers agree that it’s essential to be thoughtful and informed about all aspects of a company, such as culture, values, mission, business model, and future plans before accepting a job offer.

Additionally, a recent survey of 1,000 employees at large U.S. companies showed that nearly 50% of all respondents and 75% of millennial workers will be willing to take a $5,000-$10,000 pay cut to work for a company that’s environmentally responsible.

By focusing on corporate social and environmental responsibility, you’ll attract candidates who have a connection to the company mission instead of just focusing on financial benefits. While monetary compensation is still important, the science suggests that people are willing to focus more on social impact than financial gain. So much so, that a Cone Communications study has shown that 76% of those surveyed would decline to do business with a company if it held views and supported issues that conflicted with their beliefs.

2. Reduce employee turnover

Employee turnover isn’t cheap. Between the financial cost and the human capital required to hire, onboard, train, and/or terminate employees, companies benefit hugely from maintaining employees over the long-term. To sustain employee satisfaction and reduce employee turnover, employees must feel valued and connected to the company in some way.

Surveys suggest that nearly 70% of respondents would be more likely to stay with a company long-term if the company has a healthy sustainability plan in place. Furthermore, research also shows that there is a 50% reduction in employee turnover when employees are engaged in CSR programs. By employing individuals who have a personal or emotional connection to the company’s mission or CSR plan, you’ll create a stronger sense of purpose and a stronger motivation to excel at work.

3. Engage employees

Employees want to know how companies are implementing corporate social responsibility and how they can be a part of it. 88% of Americans are interested in hearing about a businesses corporate social responsibility efforts. A sense of purpose is critical in driving job performance and satisfaction, and employees who feel a sense of purpose tend to feel less stress and fatigue. Research shows that 80% of employees feel a strong sense of purpose when the work they are doing is impactful, which suggests that CSR programs help engage employees and reduce the feeling of stress and fatigue that comes with meaningless work.

When employees are engaged in the work they are doing, everyone benefits. Employees feel a stronger sense of purpose, companies receive a higher quality of work from employees, and consumers/end users get a better quality product or service.

4. Increase employee productivity

According to a recent study, a staggering a staggering 40% of employees across various fields and positions stated that employee recognition was simply not a priority in their office, which hindered their motivation to truly excel or be productive. In addition to placing value on employee effort, it’s vital that employees feel engaged in the work they are doing. By making employees feel valued and giving them something purposeful to work towards, employee productivity will increase.

More than a third of employees have said that they’ve given more time and effort to a job because of their employer’s sustainability agenda, and research suggests that CSR engagement increases employee productivity by 13%. As stated above, a strong sense of purpose at work decreases employee stress and fatigue, but to take it a step further, research shows an increase in employee productivity when a corporate social responsibility strategy is put in place.

5. Build company loyalty

Building company loyalty, both internally (employees) and externally (consumers, investors, etc.), is an essential factor of long term viability. Ultimately, if there is no brand trust and company loyalty, it will be difficult to remain sustainable and/or profitable long term. The Nielsen Global Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility found that more than 50% of people surveyed are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact and about 66% would prefer to work for such a company.

By building company loyalty from every perspective, everyone wins. Social and environmental responsibility benefits society, employees are engaged in the work they’re doing, productivity goes up, and public perception is more positive.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts have become more important than ever, and many job candidates are looking to see what CSR programs companies have in place before they look for a new job. By increasing CSR efforts and implementing a sound long-term CSR program, you’ll attract and retain the best talent, increase employee engagement and productivity, while increasing company/brand awareness.

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