Healthier employees are more productive and engaged in their work. They are less likely to call in sick or use vacation time for illnesses. They also perceive their companies as invested in their well-being and as more attractive places to work. However, the risks of an unhealthy workforce are as significant and numerous as the benefits of a healthy one.
The following is excerpted from Issue 15 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can engage your employees and contribute to your communities through employee volunteering programs, consider joining us for our Employee Volunteer Programs with Purpose course.
Community involvement efforts—once a way for well-intentioned companies to connect with people in their area—are now an essential part of corporate citizenship programs and have evolved to become a strategic component of business.
Here at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we’re asked to provide insight and expertise on the complete spectrum of corporate citizenship practices. Our more than 420 member companies are interested in issues ranging from environmental impact reporting to nonprofit board placements—as well as every area in between. One issue that is consistently among the most popular topic of discussion, however, is one of the foundational elements of early CSR—employee volunteer programs. A main focus of corporate citizenship programs year-round, employee volunteer initiatives are especially popular now—during the spring and summer months—when the warmer weather offers a broader array of available activities.
The focus on employee volunteer programs is hardly surprising. Employee volunteer programs offer a myriad of benefits to both businesses and the communities they serve. Research finds that they encourage stronger employee engagement, increase retention, and better job performance. The Center’s own research supports these findings. Our 2015 Community Involvement Study finds that more than 90 percent of companies list improved employee engagement among the top three benefits of an employee volunteer program. Furthermore, companies themselves have found empirical support for the relationship between volunteering and employee engagement. Of the 60 percent of companies that measure the connection between engagement in their employee volunteer program and employee engagement, 89 percent found a positive correlation (see Figure A).
Nonprofit board placement programs have grown in popularity and importance as companies and employees realize the rewards of sustained, high-level engagement in community organizations. According to the 2015 Community Involvement Study, nearly 70 percent of companies offer a nonprofit board program to their employees as a part of their volunteer program offerings (see Figure A). This is a huge change from 2011, where the same study revealed that only 26 percent of companies offered nonprofit board programs to all of their employees.
The following is excerpted from the most recent issue of the Corporate Citizen.
Employee engagement is key to company performance, leading to positive effects such as higher productivity, improved work quality, and decreased job turnover. Employees want to be involved in their work, enthusiastic about the organization they work for, and committed to their fellow workers. Yet less than a third of U.S. workers were engaged in their jobs in 2014, according to Gallup.
With longer work hours and shorter tenures on average, it is more difficult than ever to keep employees engaged with their jobs. The Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace study describes engaged employees as people who are psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations. In that study, it was found that 87 percent of employees are disengaged from their jobs.[i]
“We make a living by what we get but, we make a life by what we give.” - Winston Churchill
Giving Tuesday is a national day of online giving which is held at the start of the annual holiday season following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.
Climate change is again trending as a topic within corporate citizenship and the larger business community. The release of Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si” (Be Praised), which highlights the impact developed economies are having on our planet and our responsibilities to act, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, and the upcoming COP21—the 21st Session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change—are creating a buzz.
At the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we have been busy finishing the analysis of our 2015 study of how companies are managing and executing the community involvement activities within their corporate citizenship efforts, and expect the final report to be released this fall.
The following is excerpted from The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you develop and implement employee volunteer programs to drive employee engagement, consider joining us at one of our Executive Education courses.
By thoughtfully developing and implementing initiatives like employee volunteer programs, corporate citizenship practitioners can benefit society and their business at the same time. The key is getting employees engaged.
The Center’s Community Involvement survey finds that more than 90 percent of companies list improved employee engagement among the top three benefits of an employee volunteer program.