What is Corporate Social Responsibility and how does it impact employee engagement

Corporate Social Responsibility and it's impact on employee engagement

“Creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals- they are both essential ingredients for long term success” – Bill Ford.

Every business organisation thrives because of its people who work for it, the society which utilises its services and the environment from where it derives the resources it requires.

So, it becomes the responsibility of a business organisation to take care of the people, society and the environment which together help it survive and succeed. This responsibility which every business organisation is expected to shoulder is known as Corporate Social Responsibility.

It is entirely self-regulatory. So, it depends on the organisation in what ways and how well it shoulders its corporate social responsibility.

For example, the tech giant Google has taken several Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to pay back to the society and environment, such as reducing its carbon footprint and utilising renewable energy to fulfil its energy requirements.

Although, it seems as if the concept of corporate social responsibility is for the benefit of the society and environment, it is beneficial for the organisation too.

One of the significant services an organisation can avail by shouldering its CSR initiatives with sincerity is – Enhanced employee engagement.

According to a study published on NCBI’s website, Corporate Social Responsibility enables employees to bring more of their whole selves to work.

As a result, their level of engagement rises significantly, and they become more productive, dedicated and motivated to yield the best results for the organisation.

But why does it happen exactly?

Below are some points to elucidate why corporate social responsibility enhances employee engagement:

  1. It helps an organisation develop a positive image in the eyes of its employees:

When an organisation executes its corporate social responsibility plans to benefit the society and the environment, it develops a positive image in the eyes of its employees. They get to feel that profit-making is not the sole aim of their organisation.

Instead, it is full of values such as morality, kindness, generosity and thus, works for the well-being of others too. As a result, they feel good to be a part of the organisation and become emotionally invested in the company.

This, in turn, leads to a significant enhancement in their engagement level. They start working for the organisation and not only for the pay cheque they receive. So, corporate social responsibility enhances employee engagement by making the employees feel optimistic about the organisation.

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives enhance employee commitment:

As discussed above, corporate social responsibility makes the employees feel optimistic about their organisation. These feelings of positivity are associated with enhanced employee commitment towards the organisation.

This is simply because work-life is often stressful, and employees need some positivity to thrive. When they find the desired positivity in their organisation, they naturally become more devoted and committed towards it.

As a result, they become engaged, exhibit excellent productivity and leave no stone unturned to ensure the organisation’s success. Thus, corporate social responsibility enhances employee engagement by improving the employees’ commitment towards the organisation.

  1. It increases the employees’ involvement in the organisation:

When the employees participate in the CSR activities conducted by their organisation, they naturally become more involved with the company. This happens because their relationship with the organisation doesn’t remain limited to work only.

It takes on an entirely new level where the employees consider their organisation as a platform to connect with society and make their contribution towards its well-being. So, corporate social responsibility enhances the employees’ involvement in the organisation.

Furthermore, as the employees get involved, they don’t see their growth as separate from the organisation’s growth. The nullification of this distinction makes the employees strive for the growth of the organisation.

As a result, they give their best input, devise plans to get a competitive advantage and become engaged.

  1. It gives them a sense of purpose:

Corporate social responsibility gives the employees a sense of purpose.

When they know that their efforts are not only having an impact on the organisation’s profits, but they are also having a profound effect on the environment and the lives of the people, their motivation to work increases incredibly.

One reason for a rise in the motivation of employees is that doing good for others makes them feel good too. They start feeling inwardly happy and experience the kind of joy, which even money doesn’t bring to them. As a result, they are driven by a higher purpose to work.

This leads to a significant increment in their engagement level. This way, corporate social responsibility enhances employee engagement by giving the employees a higher sense of purpose.

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives promote teamwork within the organisation:

Participation in corporate social responsibility initiatives brings the employees together. As they work together, they become more comfortable working as a team.

This way, corporate social responsibility initiatives promote teamwork within the organisation, which plays a vital role in enhancing employee engagement.

According to a survey conducted by the ADP institute, employees who felt like they were part of a team were 2.3 times more likely to be fully engaged. This is because working in a team is fun, it divides the workload and makes one feel more responsible.

Thus, corporate responsibility initiatives enhance employee engagement by promoting teamwork within the organisation.

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility increases employee morale:

Employee morale is defined as the attitude, satisfaction and overall outlook of the employees during their association with an organisation. When employees have high confidence, they are more satisfied with the organisation they work for, and their engagement level naturally remains high.

Further, corporate social responsibility plays a vital role in giving a boost to employee morale. As the employees witness their organisation doing good for the planet and its inhabitants, they feel more satisfied at work and start exhibiting high confidence which in turn enhances their engagement level.

Thus, corporate social responsibility enhances employee engagement by increasing employee morale.

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility improves the relationships between employees and management:

Employee engagement is largely dependent on the relationships between the employees and the management. If their relationships are not good, employee engagement remains poor. So, for employee engagement, good relationships between the management and the employees are a must.

Furthermore, if an organisation shoulders its corporate social responsibility, good relationships naturally bloom between the employees and the management.

This is because corporate social responsibility initiatives bring people from all levels of the hierarchy of an organisation on the same platform. As they participate together in the CSR initiatives of the organisation, their mutual understanding grows, and they become more inclined towards each other.

This way, corporate social responsibility enhances employee engagement by improving the relationships between employees and management.

Corporate social responsibility is an organisation’s way of giving back to the environment and society, which together play a vital role in its sustenance.

It is by outstandingly shouldering its corporate social responsibility that an organisation gains a lot for itself while benefiting the society and the environment. It fruitfully gets to cultivate an engaged workforce which is a precious asset to have.

So, every organisation should shoulder it’s corporate social responsibility well as it always presents a win-win situation for both ends.

Jessica Robinson is the Content Manager at The Speaking Polymath.