Why Socially Responsible Companies Attract (and Retain) Today’s Talent

October 14, 2020

Why Socially Responsible Companies Attract (and Retain) Today’s Talent

October 14, 2020
Arron Staradub

Do you notice that workers today are different from those 5 years ago? 10 years ago? What about 25 years?

Remote working, overworking, being out work! It seems like everyone is talking about work, employment, and the state of the world these days.

If you’re an employer, or responsible for hiring and training staff, then you probably think about these things on a daily basis. Heck, even if you’re an employee yourself these words may become more important to you (and your workplace) soon enough.

Attracting talented staff is challenging enough on its own, but retaining them can be a whole different story. Spending the time (and money) finding and training employees for them to leave shortly after can be stressful (and expensive).

So what’s the solution? What’s the secret to attracting and retaining today’s top talent? How do you find the best people, and create an environment that builds loyalty?

More money? Better medical and dental benefits?

While these are must-haves for companies that want to attract and retain staff, many companies already have these. Yet, the talent still comes and goes. So what gives? What’s the secret ingredient missing from your benefits package?

Plot twist:

The answer is social responsibility.

Today’s Employees Demand Social Responsibility

These days,  zippy jargon words like “corporate social responsibility (CSR)”, “corporate giving” and “employee engagement” are thrown around pretty often.

But what’s the connection between corporate social responsibility and employee engagement? And, does it even matter? Isn’t a job just a job? Clock in, clock out, end of story?

Not anymore it’s not.

These days, people are shopping at the stores that care about social issues, and condemn the ones that actively ignore them. And they’re seeking out jobs that make an active effort to support local and global causes.

But why?

Why are today’s employees demanding more socially responsible behavior from the companies they associate themselves with?

Simply put, people care.

Perhaps they’ve always cared, but with social media and increased social literacy that people have today, they’re expressing their opinions more than ever.

When it was just newspapers, radio, and TV, profit-hungry companies had an easier time hiding their... less-than-wholesome business practices from the eyes of their customers.

And with less goods and services being imported from other countries, sometimes greedy companies were the only option around. You were stuck with them whether you liked it or not.

Today’s Largest Workforce

These days millennials (those born between 1981-1996) make up the largest portion of the workforce. Generation Z isn’t far behind, already making up 20% of the American workforce; and many still aren’t old enough to vote.

This younger workforce is different than those of previous generations. They’re more socially literate, and hyper-aware to the world around them. Not just their local community, but the global one. Social media has only amplified their voices and feelings, allowing them to talk and discuss in ways that are only possible with modern technology.

The world has never been smaller.

This younger generation also has a different set of values from their parents and grandparents. A job isn’t just a job anymore. They’re hyper-aware the global climate, but also understand that together they’re strong. That their actions matter.

They’re voting on responsible and sustainable businesses like never before. Voting with their wallets, and voting with their time.

Millennial Facts (for Employers):

A 2015 study found that 66% of global consumers said they’d pay more for sustainable brands.

A more recent study from 2016 that looked at millennial employee engagement only echoed these findings:

  • 64% consider the social responsibility of the employer when deciding where to work
  • 64% wouldn’t take a job unless it has strong CSR values
  • 83% would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues
  • 88% are more fulfilled when they’re provided opportunities to make a positive impact towards social and environmental issues

How to Attract and Retain Today’s Top Talent

So what does this mean for companies?

Harvard Business Review summed it up perfectly: “Meaning is the new money”

Simply put, today’s workforce cares. And they care a lot.

So much that they would pass up a job opportunity or change their shopping behaviors if it meant supporting a company that wasn’t making a positive impact towards societal and global issues.

Employers take heed, because if you want to attract the new generation of workers you’re gonna have to do more than just pay them more.

Savvy businesses, and socially responsible ones already implementing some sort of corporate giving program are most likely enjoying the fruits of their efforts; and will continue to attract the majority of the talent workers in the years to come.

They understand employee engagement is more than just a good benefits package and bonuses. They create opportunities for their employees to volunteer about causes that matter to them. The facilitate the personal and ethical growth of their workers, and their company as a whole.

It’s Never Too Late to Start a Corporate Giving Program

If you don’t have a corporate giving program, your hopes for employee engagement are not lost!

The best time to start was yesterday, the next best time is today.

By creating opportunities for your employees to volunteer in their community and positively impact social or environmental issues, it will only boost your employer brand, and the quality of workers that walk through your doors.

People talk. They talk to their friends, their family, and especially online. This word of mouth advertising is a powerful tool for marketers wanting to attract customers, and business owners wanting to attract and retain talented, productive staff.

Just having medical and dental benefits aren’t enough anymore.

Employee volunteer programs are the new medical and dental; the new frontier of employee benefits. They’re becoming more important to today’s workers; and the fulfillment they instill create happier, loyal, and productive workers.

Today's top talent don’t just work for the paycheck, but because they want to make a positive impact on society.

By creating opportunities for your employees to support causes that matter to them, they’ll become more fulfilled with the work they’re doing, and more loyal to your company as a whole.

Not every employer has opportunities or programs in place where staff can volunteer and support social causes, but the ones that do stand out from the competition.

If you want to create a work environment that fosters fulfillment and productivity, with loyal and enthusiastic staff members, cater to their values and sense of purpose.

Create opportunities for them to volunteer, give back, and make a positive impact on their community. And let them know about it. The results will speak for themselves.

And with consistent commitment to creating these volunteer opportunities, before long your company will become a hotbed of talented, productive, loyal people. People that would benefit any workplace they choose to call their own. Why not make it yours?

How did this article make you feel? What did it make you think of? Does your workplace already have a CSR program in place? What changes do you think you’ll have to make at your workplace?

Let us know, we’d love to hear about your current CSR efforts, or, if you need it, can help kick-start some!