Engaging Employees One Step Further – Through the CSR Lens

Michelle Turchanikova March 10, 2020 Employee Engagement

Corporate social responsibility plays a bigger role in employee engagement surveys than corporations think. By asking the right questions, we can begin to understand where employees stand in terms of employee motivation, authenticity, and alignment to the company’s social good purpose.

We already know that purpose-driven organizations that commit to powering their social good are helping to create a holistic vision for the company. IBM Analytics concludes that purpose is a key measurement in employee engagement, right next to belonging and achievement. New hires, existing employees, and stakeholders keep their eyes closely on a company’s commitment to their communities and employees. When an overarching purpose and vision speaks to employees in an authentic way, employees reiterate by showing up to work as their authentic selves.

The key is getting creative and leveraging employee engagement surveys to better understand if your CSR programs are resonating with employees. Collecting insightful feedback and allocating the time to understand it can help further develop solutions to keep employees happy. But how can HR and CSR really know if they are conducting and collecting the right questions and data?


Story Listening

We hear about the importance of storytelling from a brand, communications, and CSR perspective. Storytelling effectively bridges a company’s purpose to its reputation, but are we collecting the data straight from the source to tell that story authentically?

Employees want their opinions to be heard. Surveys are an opportunity to ask questions based on employee location, community involvement, and volunteering and giving participation. By making a commitment to understanding what employees view from their unique lens, we unleash the power to dive deeper into our CSR programs. What efforts are being made in local communities that we serve? Are we supporting the right nonprofit organizations to help align with our social purpose strategy, and are employees enthusiastic about volunteering and giving in their local communities? By creating a more in-depth analysis, the insights and CSR team can begin an all-encompassing collaborative approach to truly track what programs are effective in which communities.


Mapping Out Your Efforts

If the CSR Team collaborates with the HR Insights Team, it becomes a compelling partnership. This merge can accelerate programs and efforts and play a key role in creating real impact. Imagine a company who tracks its CSR program results against employee engagement surveys. Some questions to consider:

  • How many nonprofits are being supported vs. how many employees feel engaged in that very same community?
  • Are employees aware of the charitable grants awarded in their region and communities?
  • Are employees volunteering their time at the charities that resonate with them personally?

By taking a closer look at engagement scores and comparing results against community investment efforts, companies can better focus their strategy on areas that require additional support. In turn, mapping out your efforts becomes a KPI as your programs launch, evolve, and thrive.


Following Through

You asked. We listened. Let’s show employees that their input helped drive social impact in their communities. Let’s tell their story.

Story listening and mapping out efforts will only come full circle if companies deliver and thank their employees for their valuable feedback. This is an essential step in ensuring employee engagement continues to develop and be a trusted tool across the company. If employee feedback is valued, tracked, and considered when programs are evaluated, people will continue to be actively engaged when the next survey goes out – and they will inspire their co-workers to participate as well. Here are some ideas on how to reward employee feedback:

  • Provide a giving gift card for the employee to donate to a charity of their choice
  • Feature employees on a blog post on the company’s internal site
  • Invite them out to present a check and take a photograph at their local nonprofit or charity
  • Share their experience through social media platforms

Where to begin? Try to book some time with your HR team to discuss these collaborative ideas. After all, this is something that can be implemented across any program within the organization! Sure, it might seem like a lot of work and effort at first, but it’s a chance to think outside the box – if we listen to employees and begin to understand the communities they live, work, and play in, there is an opportunity to deliver more impactful, authentic programs with long-term results.