Experts agree: employees want to work for the good guys. And if companies want to attract and keep top talent, corporate social responsibility (CSR) matters.
“For today’s ‘millennials’ entering the workforce engagement in sustainability is a must-have, not a nice-to-have,” says Kellie McElhaney, director at the Center for Responsible Business, Haas School of Business, University of Berkeley. “They don’t want to be told what the company is doing. They want to do it.”
Don’t be surprised to see more CSR projects popping up at offices near you. Employee engagement and CSR is a hot topic, and if you are wondering why, the answer may be in the numbers. In a Society for Human Resources Management study, companies with strong sustainability programs were compared to companies with poor programs. The former had 55% better morale, 43% more efficient businesses processes, 43% stronger public image, and 38% better employee loyalty.
“CSR has proven to be one of top ways to keep people engaged,” says McElhaney. “The top two criteria young people put on job selection today is ‘flexible’ and ‘meaningful,'” she says. “We are looking for purpose. And these kids will go work for a non-profit or some sort of social enterprise to get it.”
Many believe the case for CSR is not just internal, but together with price and quality, it could be the one of the top three qualities needed for a successful company’s brand development. A study from earlier this year by public relations firm Edelman found that 87% of consumers around the world believe corporations should place at least equal weight on business and society.