In our previous post ‘The Business Case For Doing Good’ we discussed why consumers are finding it increasingly important that companies use their resources and influence to make a positive societal impact. In this post, we’ll show that consumers are not alone; your employees want the exact same thing. Here’s why:
Did you know that endorphins are released when you help others or when you portray altruistic behavior? It’s a strong part of human nature to want to do something positive, to feel that you play a purposeful part in our society. So, if you’re going to spend 40 hours or more per week on a job (which I think we can all agree on is a substantial chunk of time) you’d better spend it on something that feels meaningful right?
Sadly this is not the case for a large portion of today’s working force; many people state that their jobs lack a sense of purpose and as an effect, many people feel disengaged. Just 14% of employees in Western Europe say they feel strongly engaged in their organization and describe themselves as passionate (Gallup 2012). This obviously is bad news; not only do job satisfaction and productivity suffer, employees that don’t feel involved are much more likely to leave their company in the short term (Effectory 2015).
So how do you make a job become more meaningful? An effective way of doing this is to involve your people in the meaningful things your company is already doing; whether it’s supporting a non-profit, a strong focus on sustainability or any other part of your Corporate Social Responsibility program, making sure that your employees become a part of these activities in a way that fits them and feels relevant to them, can do wonders for their well-being:
Of employees who are involved in and in favor of the CSR policies within their organization, a massive 86% say they feel highly engaged. (Gross, 2011) Yes, 86%, remember the average of 14% we just talked about, quite the difference right? Employees that are on board with their company's CSR program also state they are more proud of their company, employee satisfaction is higher, plus they are more willing to recommend the organization as a good employer to friends. Not bad, not bad at all.
Although all age groups show a desire for doing meaningful work, it’s Millennials that take the cake. According to Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey, 90% of Millennials state they want to use their skills to create a positive impact on society. Half of them even say that they’d take a paycut, if this would allow them to do work that matches more closely with their values. It’s estimated that in 2025, Millennials will take up 75% of the global workforce, so creating a social impact together with your employees is not just a nice thing to do; it is becoming an increasingly important factor for people to decide which company to work for.
In our next posts we’ll discuss examples of successful employee involvement programs and walk you through the best practices in this field. Can’t wait until our next post? Feel free to come over to our office and we’ll get you up to speed over a cup of coffee.
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