by Ian Gourley, Up Your Level, Academy Manager
This week I hosted a session on employee engagement for the Academy of Givers ,where we had an in-depth discussion on the level of disengagement of employees and what could be done to motivate and engage commitment. Our focus was how to align company core values to employee values through getting involved in corporate social responsibility activities
A recent Gallup Survey (Sept 2022) indicated that over 50% of the workforce feels disengaged from their company and are content to simply do their work no more no less – what has come to be known as “Quiet Quitting”. There is a multitude of factors underlying this trend but at its core quiet quitters feel an overall lack of the basic elements of an aligned organisation: trust, value, belonging and communication.
However, this impacts hugely on the company, performance and reputation in the market. Leaders, managers and engaged employees are focusing their efforts on how to overcome this phenomenon and create a truly inclusive and engaged workforce. Engaged employees are the backbone of any successful organisation. They are passionate about their work, committed to the company’s mission, and willing to go above and beyond to help the organisation succeed.
What is employee engagement?
Essentially 4 key factors influence the level of engagement employees are looking for from their organisation and determines how committed they are.
A Sense of Purpose
Employees want to know that their work matters and that they’re part of something bigger than themselves. They want to understand how their work contributes to the company’s overall goals and objectives. Employees who are engaged feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. They understand their role in the organisation and how their work contributes to the organisation’s overall success.
A Positive Work Environment
Employees want to work in an environment that is safe, supportive, and respectful. They want to feel valued and appreciated by their colleagues and managers. A positive work environment is critical to fostering employee engagement. When employees feel valued, supported, and respected, they are more likely to be engaged.
An Opportunity to Grow
Employees want opportunities for professional development, training, and career advancement. They want to build new skills and take on new challenges. Engaged employees are eager to learn and grow. They seek out opportunities for professional development and are motivated to improve their skills and knowledge.
A Rewarding Experience
Employees want to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work. They want to be recognised for their contributions and know that their hard work is making a difference. Engaged employees find their work rewarding and satisfying. They feel a sense of accomplishment and take pride in their work.
Corporate Social Responsibility in practice
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) focuses on social accountability and making a positive impact on society. Ways that a company can embrace CSR include being environmentally friendly and eco-conscious; promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace; treating employees with respect; giving back to the community; and ensuring business decisions are ethical.
Corporate social responsibility initiatives can help reduce waste, conserve energy, and promote sustainable practices. This not only benefits the environment but can also save the company money in the long run.
In addition, it’s increasingly important for companies to have a socially conscious image, as consumers, employees, and stakeholders prioritise CSR when choosing a brand or company, and they hold corporations accountable for effecting social change with their beliefs, practices, and profits.
How to encourage engagement through Corporate Social Responsibility
But it’s not just that and emerging trends show that CSR can play a significant part in raising employee commitment and engaging fully with the company simply by encouraging them to be involved in company sponsored CSR initiatives. Following three steps will ensure these CSR initiatives are authentic and provide commitment and engagement.
1. Involve Employees
Employees should be involved in the design and implementation of corporate social responsibility initiatives. When employees have a say in the process, they feel more invested in the outcome and are more likely to be engaged.
2. Make it Meaningful
Corporate social responsibility initiatives should be aligned with the values and goals of the organization. Employees are more likely to feel engaged when they see how their work is contributing to something meaningful. Look to the core values and practice what we preach by living our values everyday (L.O.V.E). This can be done by encouraging employees to contribute to community causes they care about and to share those causes.
3. Recognise and Reward
Companies should recognise and reward employees who participate in corporate social responsibility initiatives. This recognition could take many forms, from bonuses and promotions to public recognition and social media shoutouts. Incentivise participation in CSR initiatives by offering fun incentives, donating to employee choice causes, providing Voluntary Time Off for employees to devote time and energy to their causes.
The value of the link
CSR is here to stay and certainly to ensure sustainability and as companies adapt to an increasingly complex and interconnected world, corporate social responsibility will become an increasingly important part of their strategies.
Employee engagement is critical to the company’s success and engaged employees are more productive, more committed, and more willing to go above and beyond to ensure the success of the organisation
Linking core values and employee engagement to CSR activities:
- Creates a positive work environment,
- Gives employees a sense of purpose
- Provides opportunities for growth and development.