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Molly Erfort
VP, Marketing

Social Impact and Employee Engagement

The Importance of Doing Good

Increasingly, companies have to be concerned about their social impact. It’s no longer enough to produce something good for customers, because in our modern culture, companies must show they’re also committed to doing good in the world. There’s a layer of altruism incorporate good deed doing, but there’s a certain pragmatism to it, as well. Consumers have access to more information than ever, and they demand transparency from the companies with which they plan to do business. This puts businesses in the position of having to reimagine their corporate strategies so that they can be a part of driving positive social impact. There has been a shift, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is being supplanted by environmental social governance (ESG). What does this mean for employee engagement? Employees are customers, and they’re watching. When you engage employees in your social impact strategies, you allow them to be stakeholders in the process, making a difference for the greater good, and this can form real connections within your company.


Both approaches foster social responsibility, but what is the difference between the two? Corporate social responsibility is the idea that a company can do well by doing good, creating a general framework of sustainability. Environmental social governance, on the other hand, is the measurable assessment of that sustainability. CSR is good, because it holds corporations accountable for their social and environmental impact. ESG goes a step further, quantifying that accountability. To shift your approach towards ESG, move from messaging to meaningful data. It’s not enough to say you’re increasing diversity; people want to see measurable goals and transparent reporting on the progress. Don’t suppress the information if you haven’t met your goals, but report the facts, acknowledging not only where you’ve excelled but also where you have room to improve. Additionally, make a shift from cost savings to value creation, creating opportunity and growth by incorporating corporate purpose into your operation. Make sure that purpose is clearly understood, because purpose-driven companies tend to gain more employee engagement and consumer loyalty.

Employee Engagement Ideas with Social Impact

How can a company’s social impact strategy increase employee engagement? By giving employees a chance to make a difference in the world around them, as well. After all, what is employee engagement but a buy-in to the company’s ideals? Unfortunately, many companies don’t make the most of this opportunity, which is really low-hanging fruit in terms of engagement strategies.  Many organizations fail to offer any kinds of opportunities or incentives, like corporate giving, employee volunteer opportunities, social investing, corporate social initiatives, or social innovation initiatives. Even fewer have formal programs involving their employees in their social impact strategies. Yet there is certainly interest in this kind of initiative.

As mentioned earlier, it benefits companies to create measurable, meaningful social impact goals. By providing employees with the opportunity to get involved in these social impact initiatives, you are enabling them to give back to the community and support their favorite causes. Many employees are eager to find ways to get involved, making social impact opportunities an authentic way to enhance employee value-proposition. Research indicates that meaningful and impactful socially minded work creates an organizational culture that employees find more attractive, promoting employee loyalty.

How Employee Engagement Benefits Your Organization

Involving your employees in your socially minded initiatives isn’t just good for the employees; it is also good for business. Companies who provide these types of opportunities are better able to attract and retain top talent, and they benefit from enhanced employer/employee relationships, increased organizational commitment, and increased organizational citizenship behaviors. What’s more, they are likely to have employees with enhanced creativity and innovation, as well as better motivation and performance. Providing opportunities to give back to the community builds an employee’s sense of self-worth, fosters respect for the company, and improves work-life balance. Companies looking to retain talent and improve employee engagement, particularly among the younger generations, should embrace the concept of social impact initiatives.

Expert Help with Employee Engagement

If you’re looking for employee engagement ideas that go beyond team-building exercises and employee engagement surveys, talk to Marketing Innovators, where we believe that connecting to people on a human level is the best way to build a great business. That’s why for over 40 years our family-owned, employee driven company has been working to build and strengthen that connection between businesses and their employees, customers, and partners. We work hard to help our clients motivate, incentivize, and reward their workforce. Our commitment to our core values of integrity, trust, collaboration, empowerment, and the kind of results-oriented attitude that promotes customer success has made us a leader in the engagement marketplace. To learn more about how we can help solve your business challenges, contact us today.