Employee Engagement: The New CSR Currency

Employee Engagement: The New CSR Currency

There has been an evolution of sorts in corporate giving. In the early days, charities sought and corporations gave mostly money. As corporations and charities became more accustomed to working together, product donations came into the mix. Today we are seeing the next phase of corporate and charitable in the form of volunteerism.

ACCP and the Southeastern Council of Foundations held a joint meeting in April to talk about Employee Engagement. It was a great meeting, the first of many we hope to do with our friends at SECF. Speakers from Points of Light, Accenture, Tyson, UPS, and Newell Rubbermaid delivered great content. Over the next few columns, we’ll look more closely at Employee Engagement and its impact on companies and causes.

First up is an overall look at Employee Engagement. Points of Light’s Jenny Lawson, VP of Corporate Strategy and Katy Elder, Senior Director, Training and Consulting gave an excellent view of the Landscape of Employee Engagement.

Some of my key takeaways included:

  • Employee Engagement can serve as a bridge for disparate groups of people
    • Employees within a company that don’t normally get to interact can bond through employee engagement opportunities
      • This bonding can create new synergies within your company between departments and can also spur innovation
    • When employees interact with others in the community their understanding of the world deepens
    • Silos and barriers can be worn down or even broken
  • Employee Engagement is good for business
    • Opportunities for benefit are seen in recruitment, retention and retirement
      • The Deloitte Millennial Survey found that 60% of Millennials say that a “sense of purpose” is part of the reason they choose to work for their current employers
      • A Global Volunteer Survey done at HP showed that employee morale was boosted through employee volunteerism
      • 71% of employees said that volunteering makes employees feel “more positive” about the company (LBG Associates 2009)
      • 81% say that skills-based volunteering improves interpersonal skills (LBG Associates 2009)
      • 96% met new colleagues on volunteer projects (LBG Associates 2009)
    • There is a tangible ROI for Employee Engagement
      • Engaged organizations have 3.9 times the earnings per share (EPS) growth rate compared to organizations with lower engagement in their same industry (Gallup, 2011)
      • The CEB 2010 Engagement Management Survey showed that employee engagement decreases turnover costs and improves employee performance
      • Transparency, Purpose, and the Empowered Consumer: A New Paradigm for Advertising from BSR.org March 2015 showed that advertisers that create campaigns with a purpose and use these campaigns to build communities of belonging are more likely to engage consumers on a deeper level and build long-term loyalty
  • Employee Engagement is good for the NGO community
    • The value of skilled volunteer support for general operations, technology and professional services can be 500 times greater than the value of other forms of volunteering *
    • Employee Engagement:
      • Provides a skilled and talented volunteer pool
      • Raises awareness of critical community needs
      • Builds infrastructure and nonprofit capacity and improves effectiveness, efficiency and reach
      • Offers direct cost savings
      • Creates quantifiable social impact

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and 2012 Volunteerism ROI Tracker Analysis, True Impact, 2012

If you are an ACCP member, you can find the Points of Light presentation here.

Next week you’ll hear how companies look to build value through Employee Engagement.

Mark Shamley
President & CEO