In Staff Surveys

The struggle to engage employees can be hard. But there's one innovative way some companies are working to engage their staff, while also contributing positively to society. This is through CSR programs, also known as corporate social responsibility initiatives.

CSR programs can range from focusing on sustainability and the environment, to helping communities in poverty at home or overseas, or working to tackle homelessness.

These initiatives involve the company and its staff using their skills and capacity to help society or the environment and can be addressed in a number of ways.

In August this year, authors Jocelyn Azada and Matthew Rochte released a whitepaper titled Workforce for Good: Engaging Employees in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. The pair interviewed leaders in CSR from Fortune 500 companies to find out how they engage their employees in CSR and to find what works and what doesn’t.

They identified nine key principles for engaging staff and working towards a successful CSR project. The first points are: Make it personal, get buy-in from the top, manage their engagement and give opportunities for employee innovation and leadership.

The next points are: Align CSR with corporate culture, incorporate CSR into business process, use multiple channels of communication and measure and track outcomes. Finally, recognise and celebrate achievements. 

From these points, it's clear that all parts of a company need to have a stake in what's going on.

"Those companies that were most successful in engaging employees demonstrated an active ownership role in sustainability/CSR at every level in the organisation, from the most senior executive to managers to front line employees," said the report.

Want to start up a CSR program? It could be a great way of letting some of your staff's talents and skills shine. Think about conducting employee surveys to see the kind of issues they are interested and get going – and remember to incorporate the nine key principles of engagement.

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