Employee engagement in corporate social responsibility activities including environmental initiatives can demonstrably improve job performance, according to research from ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
Citing programs at companies such as Cisco, Starbucks and SAP, the study recommends two simple steps that managers can take to engage staff with CSR:
- Encourage employees to talk about and develop shared experiences with customers around the company’s CSR activities.
- Make sure that company leaders take a visible role in enacting CSR.
The study, published in the May 2014 issue of the American Marketing Association’s Journal of Marketing, finds that employees feel more connected with companies and customers when they engage in CSR activities. These activities help employees by highlighting common values with both customers and the company, researchers found.
For example, CSR can act as an effective icebreaker in conversations with customers. If support for CSR comes from every level of management, the employee senses that the company shares values like caring and altruism, which are motivating bonds.
Companies can also profit from CSR activities, says a Network for Business Sustainability blog. This means companies should not ignore environmental performance, author Lauren Turner says.
Image Credit: CSR signpost via Shutterstock