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Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

How CSR Programs Benefit Employees


A company with a strong corporate social responsibility has more engaged employees. Almost 60 percent of employees who are proud of their company’s CSR program are engaged at their jobs, according to Double the Donation.

A good CSR program must consider the needs of its employees. Most American employees want to work for a company that cares about them as individuals, a recent study by Cone Communications found. Given that Americans increasingly feel their work and personal life are becoming blended, companies need to really consider their employees needs.

What do employees want the companies they work for to provide for them? The majority of those polled by Cone want traditional benefits like health insurance (94 percent) and a competitive financial package (92 percent). However, they also want their employers to support the issues and causes that matter to them (64 percent). And most (78 percent) say they want to be able to actively participate in helping improve their companies CSR practices.

Volunteering is the traditional way for employees to participate in causes and issues that matter to them and it is still important to employees. Here’s what Cone found out about employees and volunteerism:

  • Many employees look to the companies they work for to provide main ways to volunteer through company wide days of service (67 percent) and company-led activities (67 percent).

  • Over half of employees are looking for more progressive volunteer models: 63 percent want micro-volunteerism, 61 percent want paid service leave, and 58 percent want to participate through after-hours opportunities.

  • Over half (53 percent) of employees want a mix of skills based and non-skills based activities.

A good CSR program can be used by a company to recruit and retain employees. Almost three-quarter (74 percent) of those polled by Cone say work is more fulfilling when their employers provide them with opportunities to work on social and environmental causes. Seven out of ten polled (70 percent) say they would be more loyal to a company that allows them to participate in important issues and causes.

When employees decide which job to take, over half consider a company’s CSR commitments. And over half (55 percent) say they would opt to work for a socially responsible company even if the salary was less, while 51 percent will not work for a company without strong CSR commitments. Once, they work for a company they want to be kept informed about the details about their company’s CSR program. The majority (75 percent) think it is important their company share its goals, progress and achievements with them.

Cone is not the only organization to find that CSR programs bring employee benefits. The Cube Group found that a good CSR program supports being an employer of choice and encourages professional and personal development. In other words, their results mirror those of Cone’s. Being a good employer is more than just providing a salary and traditional benefits. It is facilitating a way for employees to make a difference socially and environmentally.

Photo: Flickr/Scott Lewis

This piece was originally published on Just Means

Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

Read more stories by Gina-Marie Cheeseman