Can CSR Impact Employees’ Perceptions About Their Workplace?

blue volunteer t-shirt

For most companies, and particularly those in the B2B space, employees represent the most powerful brand communications channel. To be true brand ambassadors, employees must feel a sense of shared purpose, a fundamental connection to the company’s mission, vision and values, and an understanding of how they contribute to the company’s success. Engaging employees in CSR activities can go a long way towards building that connection.

According to a study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership’s (CCL), employee volunteerism and corporate philanthropic initiatives are correlated with employees’ positive perception and commitment to their company. This is an important insight, especially for large companies looking to engage and retain an sizeable workforce. The CCL concludes by saying that “it is likely that the importance of CSR will increase in years to come as people become more interested in the social and environmental effects of corporations.”

This is undoubtedly true. Just take a look at the next generation that’s beginning to filter into workforce: the millenials. Deloitte recently published its 2011 Volunteer IMPACT Survey, focusing on employed adults from 21-35 and “explor[ing] the connection between workplace volunteerism activities and employee engagement.” The results? Those who “frequently participate in their company’s volunteer activities” were:

“twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive”
“more likely to be very proud to work for their company”

“more likely to feel very loyal toward their company”
“nearly twice as likely to be very satisfied with the progression of their career”

These results show the impact that CSR activities can have on corporate culture and employee perceptions of their workplace. As we examined in our whitepaper  “Branding Employee Volunteerism,” when companies create and engaging brand and communications around CSR initiatives, they can become culture-building activities. A sense of teamwork around volunteering, supported by shared goals, connects employees to the company-wide effort. And millenials themselves “have often been described as the most civic-minded generation to come along since World War II” (Deloitte). So if they have the passion for societal improvement and are looking for employers that share this passion, why not harness their enthusiasm in meaningful ways?


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