By Amanda Minuk
In sports, when a team is building for the future, it is understood that they won’t be as competitive as they were in the past. Fans understand the importance of a ‘rebuild’ and most have the patience to wait for better days ahead. In business, however, a company must always be competitive because employees, consumers and clients are often not as loyal (or forgiving) as sports fans.
High turnover, a lack of employee engagement and difficulty attracting top talent are common and costly employer challenges that can affect a company’s competitive edge. In 2016, the key to a strong future and a perpetually winning team lies with corporate social responsibility (CSR), community investment, social impact, corporate citizenship, sustainability or whatever term your company uses.
Not only do companies that invest in CSR do better financially, but they’re also better at attracting and retaining top talent -- millennials in particular. However, just because a CSR program exists at your organization does not mean you’ll win the talent war.
If you want to be effective at strengthening your organization and attracting and retaining top talent, make sure you take the following into consideration:
Authenticity in CSR is about being an organization that not only stands for something, but also acts accordingly. It’s about saying what you mean, and meaning what you say -- both internally and externally. Authentic CSR has the potential to provide a sense of higher purpose that your employees are looking for and infuse meaningful work into the organization.
Signs of authenticity:
The saying “what gets measured gets done” is true for CSR, and leaders in the industry know that for CSR to be truly embedded within the organization there has to be business value and need. Ultimately, CSR must be tied to business objectives.
Signs your CSR program is tied to business objectives:
Prioritizing your employees' needs (not just extracting value from them) signals you care, which in turn will help increase engagement and retention. According to recent research, the leading career need is related to development and growth. Consider the fact that 58 percent of millennials cite career growth and professional development as their primary career goal. Further, a lack of growth is the leading reason employees leave their current employer.
Signs you consider employees:
Amanda Minuk is a co-founder and CEO of Bmeaningful, a career site for social impact jobs. Bmeaningful helps companies showcase their impact and professionals find jobs with a purpose and a paycheque in corporate social responsibility, social good and nonprofit. Connect with her @impactjobamanda and @b_meaningful