Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Engagement

  • How does good CSR improve employee engagement?
  • How does good employee engagement improve CSR?
  • What are the connections between personal values and organisational values and how do these issues impact social and commercial performance?

“Employee engagement is, in a sense, internal CSR!”
Nita Clarke, Employee Engagement Summit, London, 2013
Nita’s insight is a powerful and profound one: we could say that a vital element of corporate social responsibility is to engage its employees and provide them with rewarding, meaningful work. It may also be the case that organizations with a sound track record in social responsibility tend to produce greater pride and performance among their employees. Perhaps engaged employees are more inclined to bring social responsibility into their daily working practices?

“Organisations need to look carefully at their own situations when deciding how best to engage employees. Organisational contexts will differ, as will employee wants and needs: one size does not fit all.”
Dr Bruce Rayton, University of Bath School of Management, in “Engage for success: the evidence” Employee Engagement Task Force “Nailing the Evidence” workgroup
In some organisations, the four enablers of employee engagement – particularly organizational integrity and strategic narrative – may benefit considerably from CSR – but perhaps only if the appropriate situation-specific communications and metrics are developed?

“In the current economic climate there is a need for both organisational engagement as well as job engagement.”
Professor Veronica Hope-Hailey, University of Bath School of Management and Engage for Success Task Force
Professor Hope-Hailey makes a vital distinction between engagement in one’s work – focused, productive ‘job satisfaction’ – and emotional engagement with one’s organisation – affective bonds of loyalty and commitment to the employer as a favoured institution. How do these forms of employee engagement relate to corporate social responsibility?

“I am most interested in how an organisation with internal and external responsibilities ‘joined up’ might produce better financial results AND better ethical performance – and how we might best measure success across both areas.”
Robert Barnard-Weston, University of Bath School of Management and founder Groundswell Corporate Social Investment

Perhaps we can have it all – improved ethics AND improved prosperity – is it even possible that the two could enhance each other in a new form of values-based societal-commercial symbiosis?

This Group is led by Robert Barnard-Weston. Join this Group by contacting robert@groundswell.co.uk RABW@ME.COM