Why should businesses focus efforts on employee engagement and corporate social responsibility?

Community engagement greatly increases employee satisfaction and retention.

According to a recent Deloitte Millennial Survey, 75 percent of respondents relayed that COVID-19 has made them more sympathetic and motivated them to take actions to have a positive impact in their communities. For the first time in recent years – more millennials said they’d like to stay with their employers for at least 5 years than those who said they’d prefer to leave within 2 years. It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected job loyalty, which is as important as ever as many organizations struggle with the current labor shortage. Your organization can use employee engagement to retain employees as well as give back to their community.

The Harvard Business Review reports that incorporating volunteering opportunities into their corporate giving plan is good for business through improving employee satisfaction, fostering employee engagement and boosting retention. 

According to a study from the Macquarie Business School in Australia, 93% of employees who volunteer through their company report being happy with their employer. Additionally, 54% of those who are proud of their company’s contributions to society are engaged at work. 

How can businesses incorporate community engagement into their organization’s structure?

Go beyond one-and-done employee opportunities to create long term partnerships to meaningfully assist local nonprofits. 

Taking on a broader view of your business’s purpose is supported by an important 2019 Business Roundtable update. Their statement on the purpose of a corporation transitioned from a “shareholder” perspective to more of a “stakeholder” perspective. As Alex Gorsky, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson & Chair of Business Roundtable Corporate Governance Committee stated, “It affirms the essential role corporations can play in improving our society when CEOs are truly committed to meeting the needs of all stakeholders.”

To create an employee engagement program that helps your business and serves a broader set of stakeholders in your community, the CEO of Working for Women, Beth Bengston, recommends the following:

  1. Create meaningful partnerships.Create a Meaningful Corporate Volunteer Program
  2. Identify the needs of the nonprofit.
  3. Match those nonprofit needs with the specialized skills of their employees.
  4. Define scope of engagement and work together on a problem.
  5. Measure your impact.
  6. Replicate, update and scale as you go.

BVU specializes in facilitating these community engagement opportunities between nonprofits and businesses in the Northeast Ohio area through Skill CONNECT. 

Skill CONNECT encompasses Ask the Expert, a regular series of one-on-one sessions between nonprofits and skills pro bono consultants, as well as longer term operational projects and access to BVU’s Encore Fellows that match individuals with professional achievement to local nonprofits.