Organisations have long understood the value of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a way to be actively involved with society at large while making the world a better place. The realisation of the positive impact it has on business if executed thoughtfully, as well as the uplift in employee loyalty and engagement, make it more compelling than ever. 

However, it is easy for companies to fall into the trap of simply being seen to be doing the right thing rather than making any real effort. A well-chosen and properly executed CSR program is a win/win situation for the company and society at large.

Measuring the value of CSR

Many organisations are eager to see the 'real value' of their CSR programs – like a lot of businesses they want demonstrable ROI that adds value to their bottom line. It's understandable – particularly if your organisation is providing people with structured time off to pursue CSR. However, it’s important not to think about CSR in purely monetary terms. 

CSR programs give employees a sense that they are working towards a greater goal, this can lead to increasing their sense of commitment. Committed employees are more engaged, more productive and less likely to resign. This will hit your bottom line in a positive way.

This desire to have a sense of purpose is becoming even more pronounced among the younger generations who are entering the workforce and want to work for companies that appear thoughtful, considerate and committed to using their resources and influence to effect positive change. Do this well and you will improve your external value proposition to potential recruits.

Implementing and measuring a CSR program

When looking to implement a CSR program, it's important to have an authentic and genuine desire to effect positive change. Here are some of the other points to consider:

  • Will you have one big effort, or lots of little ones? If you're a large organisation with many offices in different communities, you may find success localising your efforts to help engage workers, or you might prefer to pool your efforts towards one central cause.
  • Decide how, or if, you will measure your efforts: This will depend on the kind of CSR you engage in. Companies that give a certain percentage of their profits to charity, for example, will measure the impact and efficacy of their efforts differently than an organisation that gives employees a day off to engage in volunteer work.
  • Nominate a CSR champion in your office: These people are passionate about your chosen cause and can drive activity in the office, as well as have responsibility for planning and coordinating activity. This ensures you maintain momentum with your program.
  • Seek regular feedback: Include questions about your CSR efforts in any of your regular employee engagement surveys, or request specific feedback on how employees are responding to your program, any suggestions they may have for causes to support or initiatives to implement, and track this alongside other metrics like overall engagement, attrition and brand sentiment.

There is a growing demand amongst job seekers and the community at large for corporate accountability. Companies that take CSR seriously stand to reap a myriad of reputational, employee engagement and talent acquisition benefits.

Need support with hiring committed, engaged team members? Talk to the consultants at Michael Page – Australia’s leading recruitment agency.

 

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