Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Wellbeing

CSR can have a positive impact on employee wellbeing and morale

These days, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is no longer just a feel-good talking point for businesses. Those that are solely focused on their profit margins at the expense of taking an interest in their social, environmental and economic impact are falling short of expectations. Employees have long since worked out the difference between social obligation and social responsibility, and the important link between business and society. They now want to work for an organisation that gives back.

CSR leads by example

It turns out that doing more than what is necessary is essential for employee wellbeing too, with 76% of Millennials now considering an organisation’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work [1], and 88% saying their job is more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues [2]. Such is the demand for businesses to be more open about their discretionary activities and maintain acceptable standards of business practice, CSR is no longer considered to be something to bolt on to your policies: It’s gaining traction as an ethical obligation for businesses large and small.

CSR takes collective action

Although the precise definition of Corporate Social Responsibility is open to interpretation, broadly speaking, CSR describes an organisation’s long-term commitment to carry out business in an ethical way. It means adopting sustainable business activities that go beyond fulfilling economic functions and legal requirements, and adding environmental, community and social value wherever possible. That’s why CSR is not just about raising money for charities but aligning business growth strategies to ethics, in order to establish a sense of community and support that drives change in society.

Whether it’s an issue-focused fundraising event, an environmental initiative to improve recycling facilities or the creation of a community-minded social network, there are so many ways that organisations can introduce Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives across all areas of their business.

It also has a notable impact on the wellbeing of employees, because, to put it simply, when we feel as though we are doing good, we feel good.

CSR is positive for wellbeing

In addition to public advocacy, for many organisations, a healthy and happy workplace has also become a way of living out this commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. It’s not surprising that the importance of CSR has taken hold internally in the context of day-to-day work either. After all, not only do successful Corporate Social Responsibility strategies depend on building meaningful relationships with stakeholders, organisations are seeing the direct and indirect benefits of its practical application on employee wellbeing.

CSR increases workplace engagement

Corporate Social Responsibility has come a long way since being primarily focused on the relationship between the organisation and society. While professional growth and financial gain still play a part, individuals are increasingly engaged by the idea of altruism and motivated to go beyond self-interest to do good for others. Having a CSR strategy that cultivates a sense of larger purpose and gets people involved results in happier and engaged employees who are proud to work for their company.

CSR creates loyalty

Much of workplace stress comes down to a lack of harmony between employee needs, demands and those of the surrounding environment. With so many people feeling that their work and personal lives are becoming increasingly blended and posing a threat to the work-life balance, employees are more likely to be more loyal to an organisation that helps them contribute to the issues they care about.

That’s why, in addition to providing suitable working conditions, diversity, equity and inclusion policies, mental health support, and addressing complex workplace issues head on, internal CSR activity should also extend to creating meaningful engagement opportunities that line up with the employees’ own social concerns. This not only creates a motivated and open work culture, but a considerably less stressful one too, which bodes well for employee retention.