Achieving the right relationship between a company’s brand and its philanthropic or volunteer efforts is a delicate balancing act. But it’s well worth the effort. This whitepaper identifies four overarching principles that can guide a company in aligning corporate social responsibility activities with the corporate brand for authenticity and impact.
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 an academic study in organizational psychology, employee volunteerism is correlated with employees’ level of engagement and feelings of support and autonomy from coworkers. This is an important insight, especially for large companies looking to engage and retain an sizeable workforce. The study concludes by expressing the hope that the study will “motivate employers who are not engaged in corporate volunteering to develop their own volunteering programs, through which they could provide additional motivation for a larger number of employees.”
There’s plenty of evidence that such a phenomenon is occuring. In 2017, Deloitte published a Volunteer IMPACT Survey, which focused on a culture of volunteerism’s effect on the workforce. The results?
- 89 percent of workers believe that companies that sponsor volunteer activities have a better overall working environment than those that do not.
- 74 percent think volunteerism provides an improved sense of purpose
- 70 percent believe volunteer activities boost morale more than sponsored happy hours
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?