It’s no secret that today’s top talent is in high demand. Rapidly evolving industries that focus on technology, artificial intelligence and on-demand services continue to disrupt traditional sectors. The internet has opened up new markets that otherwise wouldn’t be accessible. A simple Google search yields countless results and endless products. Consumers have choices. But consumers aren’t the only group to exercise the power of choice: employees have options too.
Forward-thinking managers and executives realize that innovation often grows from the bottom up. In order to be the employer of choice, today’s companies must offer more than generous perks like free meals in the company cafeteria, on-site child care and competitive salaries. Employees also take into consideration less tangible benefits like a company’s core values and it’s community involvement. As many companies are discovering, the purpose of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs aren’t just to be better community stewards and influence consumer decisions — these programs go a long way in meeting the evolving needs of today’s workforce.
Volunteering and community leadership have been proven to boost employee morale and instill confidence in both management and the company itself. Demonstrating that the business cares about more than turning a profit is increasingly important to employees. CSR expert Malcolm Scovil, reporting for The Guardian, notes that: Employees generally feel motivated to work for companies knowing that they actually give a damn about wider society and they’re more likely to be productive and put extra effort in for those organizations.
Undertaking projects that are outside the scope of normal company demands such as feeding the homeless or partnering with nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity yield results that are at once tangible and inspiring. Not to mention that engaging in activities outside of one’s normal interests and job functions fosters creativity and problem solving which is good for employees and good for business.
When your employees volunteer in the community they not only increase brand differentiation but they positively impact the local communities where they and their customers live and work. Volunteering also has the benefit of team building and encouraging an inclusive company culture by bringing together people and groups within the company that might not otherwise collaborate.
Promoting volunteerism by giving employees paid days off to go out and do some good is an idea that’s gaining strength in the world of corporate social responsibility. Salesforce, an industry leader in CSR, has a number of innovative programs that promote volunteerism including the Employee Engagement Program. Not only does this popular program give employees seven paid volunteer time days off (VTO) per year but the top 100 volunteers receive a $10,000 grant to give to the charity of their choice. How’s that for encouraging and empowering employees to get and make difference?
The Bottom Line
What’s good for employees is good for business. Employees, like consumers, want to know what their company stands for and how they’re impacting the world. If your company doesn’t have a CSR plan, speak to your human resources department. Encourage your company to get out there and do good! They’ll thank you for it!
Originally published at medium.com