Today’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is all about getting employees involved and engaged, as it can creater the bigger impact for the business and the causes that are supported. It sends a clear message that employees are valued and that they can make a difference in their community.
While “giving back” resonates with most people, the practical execution of a CSR program that aligns with the business, and guarantees participation from all employees can be a challenge.
The first and essential step to elaborating a CSR framework is to understand what exactly motivates people to get involved through the workplace. A combination of thorough research in the subject (by PWC, America’s Charities) and insights from Alaya’s experience have led to the conclusion that there are 3 key foundations for getting employees engagement involved in a program:
- A Clear and Supportive Framework: full support and involvement from management
- Choice and Flexibility: offering options to contribute
- Trust and Impact: having information about the NGOs and knowing about one’s impact
A Clear and Supportive Framework for Employee Engagement
The company’s role in workplace giving is essential, it must be encouraging and support employees’ participation in solidary initiatives. According to findings in America’s Charities 2017 Snapshot Report, 64% of respondents state that paid time off to volunteer is among their top 5 motivations. Other top motivating factors include employer matching of donations (58%), volunteer service grants such as “dollars for doers” (47%), an easy-to-use technology platform and the opportunity to work with colleagues (40%).
The positive perception is further reinforced if management level employees are involved and the opportunity to do good together is encouraged. Being supportive also means suggesting these initiatives on a voluntary basis, not mandatory and without pressuring everyone. As demonstrated by the research, 64% have a positive experience when there is no pressure. So the integration of a clear framework into the culture with supportive incentives is fundamental.
Choice and Flexibility
Giving time, funds or objects for is very personal, which is why it is essential for the program to align with each individual’s own values. The possibility to choose the causes one cares about is a positive experience for 76% of employees. People also want to be able to contribute in different ways, so it is important to offer a mix between group and individual participation, skills based volunteering, and donating funds or objects.
Offering a wide variety of ways to contribute and flexibility must also be in the foundations of a corporate philanthropic program.
Trust and Impact
80% of donors are satisfied when they trust that their funds are well spent. 70% of donors state it is imperative or very important to have information about the NGOs.
A lack of information and trust can leave employees dissatisfied with their experience, and with the feeling that the partnership is only transactional. Furthermore, 69% of employees report having a positive experience when the activities are organised with a clear scope and expected impact.
A solid and well-rounded program with long-term partnerships can be created when there is trust and clear trackable impact.
These three key areas should be the foundation of a company’s CSR program for it to be successful internally and for the impact to carry through to its trusted partners.
Alaya specialises in the implementation and execution of Employee Volunteering and Corporate Giving programs. Through a technology-based platform, Alaya includes all the foundational elements outlined above.