What’s next at the intersection of employee engagement and social impact? As we look ahead, let’s first consider some key takeaways from YourCause 2019 Industry Review. This research is based on data collected between January and December 2018:
- Average volunteer hours per employee grew by nearly 43% in very large companies of 100,000 or more employees
- Companies with fewer than 5,000 employees experience nearly double the employee engagement of larger companies
- Employees engage at a 70% higher rate with programs that offer both giving and volunteering
- Companies that offer peer-to-peer fundraising have a higher than average overall engagement rate within their corporate social responsibility program
- When companies covered credit card fees for employees an additional $800,000 in funds reached the social good community
YourCause research also showed that 90% of companies worldwide acknowledge the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations to build a better future by 2030. More than 40% of these companies have pledged to embed the goals into their business strategies and operations.
The Benevity Goodness Matters conference was held in March and also offered a glimpse of what’s next in the world of employee engagement and social impact. One of the biggest takeaways – the balance between company focus and employee choice. Employees prefer a number of ways to get involved with the company cause but they are also motivated by the opportunity to support the causes they are passionate about. As technology and flexibility continue to drive the “always on” work/life blend, employee engagement and social impact create a ripple effect that is felt well beyond the office. The social networks of employees are becoming increasingly important as a way to amplify a company’s social impact.
Another insight from Goodness Matters is that companies are looking to measure the impact of their programs and tell their stories better by curating data in different ways that will be beneficial to various stakeholders. Corporate social responsibility has become a business unit at many companies that must meet measurable goals. Measuring is no longer a nice thing to do, it’s a must. Data drives social impact investment.
An analysis from PwC says the new standard for employee engagement is fulfillment. PwC defines fulfillment as the feeling people have when their work and their motivations are aligned and they gain a sense of meaning and purpose as a result.
As we move into the second quarter of 2019, what is apparent is that there is no “one” blueprint for CSR success. The best path forward for one company may not make sense for another. The most significant trend is for companies to create authentic employee engagement programs that reflect their unique culture, maximize social impact and drive business value.