In the US, the unemployment rate is at one of its lowest levels in 50 years, while wages have increased at their highest rate in 9 years. It’s great for the economy, but difficult for recruiters. Companies are clearly having to offer increasingly high salaries as they compete for talented employees.
Which means they need to work even harder at employee retention. We know how costly high staff turnover can get!
Giving back is good – for everyone
Of course, a long-term CSR strategy is very good for the non-profits who receive essential volunteer time and funding. They are also good for your company’s reputation: they help clients feel good about working with you, and they help attract star employees.
And the benefits extend to employee retention, as Starbucks recently found.
The brand has testing a program that will allow certain employees to spend up to half their work week helping out at a non-profit. During the six-month pilot, 36 Starbucks Service Fellows in 13 cities will spend at least 20 hours per week working for Starbucks, and up to 20 hours per week at a local organization.
A study published in April 2018 found that an organization’s efforts on CSR could enhance the fulfillment of employees’ existence, relatedness and growth (ERG) needs. Moreover, the perceived CSR initiatives could generate positive effects on employees’ satisfaction and retention intention by fulfilling employees’ ERG needs.
The undeniable link between CSR and employee retention
Benevity is a technology company that specializes in CSR software. Their 2018 study links employee-centric CSR programs to big gains in retention. They found that these programs can reduce turnover by 57%.
People don’t leave a company, they leave a culture
We already know that a good salary is rarely enough to retain a great employee. They’re looking for the opportunity to grow, develop, and connect.
As far back as 2009, a large-scale Canadian study found that doing good through CSR initiatives can help you retain motivated staff. The higher the overall level of CSR engagement, the more your staff will:
- Consistently say positive things about your organization
- Intend to stay with your organization
- Strive to achieve above and beyond what is expected in their daily role
Bryan de Lottinville, Benevity Founder and CEO explains it well: “These days, people don’t necessarily leave or disengage with a company or a business vertical, they leave a culture and values that they perceive are misaligned. Inclusive and user-centric corporate goodness programs not only help to avoid that, they can become a source of differentiation and attraction for employees.