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3 Ways to ignite corporate social responsibility and employee engagement

December 13, 2022

This blog was originally published in March 2018 and has been updated for stats and relevancy.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) plays a crucial role in employment brand, talent attraction and retention, and overall business performance. In fact, Benevity's 2022 State of Corporate Purpose revealed that 70% of employees would be more likely to recommend their employer if it prioritized social justice. In other words, for effective CSR, a company must demonstrate that its not only passionate about its work, but also about bettering its people and the world. This is especially true after the pandemic prompted employees to consider how they can fulfill a bigger purpose through their work. 

So, what does effective CSR look like in practice? First, it means you must be transparent about where you stand on both internal and external contributory efforts. Gather input from employees when deciding which charitable causes you’ll be supporting. Also, consider documenting your CSR initiatives and integrating them into your business strategy — prioritizing employee engagement and representation in your organization is one of the best ways to do this. 

We’ve outlined three priorities when trying to invent, evaluate or revamp your corporate social responsibility initiatives in 2023: 

#1: Environmental sustainability 

It’s important to recognize the role we all play in protecting the environment so that it remains a clean, safe and sustainable place to live and work for generations to come. Your organization can promote environmental sustainability by creating a sustainability committee, sponsoring local community service projects, donating to nonprofits that help our planet or hosting a day of service that encourages your employees to get involved in their communities. 

One of our favorite initiatives from 2022 was our Earth Week celebration. It had a positive impact on our planet, was a great way to boost employee engagement and involved some friendly competition and prizes for participating teams. Throughout the week, we encouraged employees to take informative online quizzes, spend time in nature, conserve energy, and reduce, reuse and recycle. We also promoted and donated to The Canopy Project, a nonprofit dedicated to planting trees all around the world.  

#2: Wellness 

Employee well-being is something that should be top of mind in every organization. This needs to go beyond traditional medical benefits. What really distinguishes whether an employer actively prioritizes employee well-being is whether they provide support in the following:  

  • Mental health 
  • Financial wellness 
  • Work-life balance 
  • Exercise 

The support your company offers will depend on your size, values and culture. Consider launching an unlimited PTO program that lets employees take time off when they need to recharge, a mental health first aid program or a wellness committee that can plan and promote wellness initiatives within the company on an ongoing basis.  

WilsonHCG strives to maintain a workplace environment where employees are healthy, happy and supported. Our unlimited PTO program helped us accomplish this and has since become a top-rated perk among employees.

We also host a virtual wellness series at WilsonHCG. This year, we hosted a nutritional wellness series during the second quarter and a financial wellness series during the third quarter. The nutritional wellness series explored topics like diet and meal prepping, while the financial wellness series explored topics like the psychology of money, creating your prosperity plan and navigating inflation and stress.   

#3: Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) 

DEIB is one of the essential building blocks of any corporate social responsibility policy. Providing equal opportunities for all employees, eliminating discriminatory practices and promoting an environment free from harassment, violence and intimidation is essential. However, it shouldn’t stop here. According to Benevity's 2022 State of Corporate Purpose: 80% of employees believe it's the responsibility of company leadership to take action on addressing racial justice and inequity; 77% believe it's important for companies to allow difficult conversations around race and social issues to occur at work; and 50% of employees would stay at a company because it offered employee resource groups (ERGs). Simply put, employees want to see that companies genuinely prioritize DEIB.

At WilsonHCG, we make diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging a priority through our BRITE Program and employee belonging groups (EBGs). Our BRITE Program stands for belonging, respect, inclusion, togetherness and equity and is integrated into everything we do. This ongoing approach ensures that every employee feels respected, safe, supported and celebrated. One essential part of our BRITE Program is our online catalog of educational materials concerning topics such as race, bias, gender identity, allyship, disability awareness, veteran support and more. We also have EBGs that are designed to foster a sense of belonging, raise awareness of important issues and bring together employees and allies who have shared characteristics, experiences and goals. 

Employee engagement that’s meaningful for your business 

As CSR initiatives take root, these elements will positively impact your people, your talent acquisition efforts and the world around you. Being intentional and authentic about your efforts will make a difference in your people and your business.  

CSR needs to be a top priority in 2023
Discover how your organization can leverage CSR to elevate its employment brand in our most recent report.
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About WilsonHCG

WilsonHCG is an award-winning, global leader in total talent solutions. Operating as a strategic partner, it helps some of the world’s most admired brands build comprehensive talent functions. With a global presence spanning more than 65 countries and six continents, WilsonHCG provides a full suite of configurable talent services including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search, contingent talent solutions and talent consulting. TALENT.™ It’s more than a solution, it’s who we are.