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Introduction: CSR & Employee Engagement

Ben Darlington | 22 September 16
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Employee Engagement: It’s not exactly equivalent to job satisfaction or happiness at work. Rather, it is defined as the emotional commitment that an employee has to the company and its goals.

It’s official: Half of UK employees are disengaged at work, the biggest contributing factor being the chasm between individual and corporate values.

Employee Engagement

In this series of articles Benefacto, DoNation and JustGiving explore how a compelling approach to CSR can help promote shared values and by doing so revive and promote worker engagement, and create more energetic, committed and rigorous teams.

Engaged Employees

Who are they and why are they important?

It’s not merely a transaction made between 9-and-5, it’s about genuinely sharing in the fate of an organisation and having an investment in its success and growth.

Engaged employees self-select to go the extra mile, create energy within their teams and are ambassadors for the organisation both in and outside the workplace.

Despite this clear strategic importance, employee engagement levels have been demonstrated to be pretty shocking in the UK. In their study The Science of Ingagement, the PR company Weber Shandwick asked employees across the country about job satisfaction, attitudes to their employers’ reputation and success, and their feeling of worth in the company.

The figures are stark

50%

of British employees simply aren’t engaged at work

Employee Engagement

What this means in real terms is that employee retention, productivity, team cohesion and wellbeing suffer and this is naturally reflected in the bottom line: businesses with engaged people show 6 per cent higher net pro t margins.

Contributing Factors

What makes someone engaged at work?

There are many contributing factors to what makes work engaging for people, from having varied, interesting projects to get your teeth into to a comfortable, convivial working environment or an inspiring, innovative boss. In fact, the ‘Ingagement’ study identifies nineteen. Suddenly, looking at their Table of Elements, the role and opportunities for CSR becomes clearly illuminated.

Employee Engagement CSR Strategy

Employee Engagement

Of all the drivers of engagement, the biggest problem concerns ‘Shared Values’: only 13 per cent of employees feel that their employer understands and shares their personal world view, moral stance and values.

This condition puts CSR clearly in the frame as a remediating force. In terms of recommendations for improving employee engagement, Weber Shandwick suggest that the first action point for any company is to focus on creating a climate of shared values and empathy.

Reality Behind Employee Engagement

And how you can use it

The truth is that people have many and varied personal values, yet many values are shared, especially within particular communities (if you’re not familiar with the work, we recommend reading ‘58 values we live by’. Values help direct behaviour, which is why sharing values helps direct common behaviour.

Although as a profit-making organisation — where promoting values might not represent a business’s principal aims — demonstrating a commitment to the values that are of mutual benefit to the company and its workforce will clearly pay dividends. This, of course, is where CSR comes in.

This mini-series will focus on three key areas with real potential to develop a climate of shared values and ultimately engage your staff.

We will drill down into how you can focus on the three key topics of Fundraising, Sustainability and Volunteering so as to emphasise your corporate values and engage more of your people.

Download the Employee Engagement White Paper

Ben Darlington looks after new partnerships and possibilities at Benefacto. He has been involved with the project since its inception back in 2012, building the website and developing the graphic design. He is always looking for ways for charities, businesses and social enterprises to work together. If you'd like to work with Benefacto talk to Ben at ben@benefacto.org.

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