Profile of man looking out of a window, a city can be seen behind him

An organization with a commitment to serving its community helps the recipients of that service and benefits its employees through increased engagement, higher retention rates and stronger community relationships.

Creating a culture of social responsibility allows employees to make a difference while earning a paycheck, gives employees a shared sense of purpose while promoting team building, and results in employee pride in their organization. Forbes magazine has reported that companies who encourage their employees to volunteer have higher retention rates and their employees are happier at work.

Graphic with the text: All other things being equal, I would take a 15% pay cut: to work for a company committed to CSR (35% of respondents), for a job that makes social or environmental impact (45% of respondents), to work for an organization with values like my own (58% of respondents)Proof of corporate social responsibility can aid in hiring new employees, too. Job seekers want to work for a company committed to serving others. A 2015 survey by Aflac revealed 75 percent of 6,000 people polled reported they would be happier working for a company with a strong corporate social responsibility program. Thirty-five percent of workers surveyed by the nonprofit Net Impact would take a pay cut to work for a company committed to corporate social responsibility (see graphic).

Giving back can influence the way clients view your organization and leads to greater economic success for the community and your organization. Every time an organization or its employees engage with a community in a positive way, your brand value increases. That can lead to employee attraction, retention and improved engagement.

So how do you anchor stewardship to your community in the culture of your organization? Define a social mission and let your employees lead the way. Empower your employees to be the ambassadors of your commitment to the community. The strongest social responsibility programs include a mix of service opportunities. Below are just a few ideas:

  • Give employees paid hours annually to serve a nonprofit of their choice
  • Ask employees to pick an organization they are passionate about and would like your organization to support Have them work with the organization to identify needs, then create a strategy to implement it. This can be a small or large scale pro bono effort
  • Organize giving back days with team activities like picking up trash along a stream or roadside, landscaping a playground in need of sprucing up, painting a day care center, or serving food at a homeless shelter
  • Provide service opportunities by inviting charitable organizations to talk to employees about their missions and needs

Finally, have employees share their service experiences through your organization’s newsletter or employee intranet and social media channels, and don’t forget to thank them for their giving.