A recent Bain and Co. survey showed two-thirds of workers would accept a lower salary if it meant working for a company with more sustainable business practices. Another study by Towers Perrin showed corporate social responsibility (or CSR) is the third most important driver of employee engagement.
And this isn’t even taking into account how important socially conscious business policies are when it comes to recruiting talent. Of the tech-savvy and plugged-in Millennial generation, a whopping 70 percent say a company’s commitment to the community influences their decision to accept a position.
So clearly, taking CSR seriously can help your company attract great candidates and even keep them engaged once they become employees. Here are a few policies you can implement in your company in order to attract and retain the best socially conscious talent:
Going green is a great way to show your company is socially responsible. We all have one planet Earth to share, and therefore the environment is an important issue for everyone. In the last election, 67 percent of voters cited environmental concerns as important with 77 percent agreeing that energy policy was a vital voting concern.
In your company, going green can be a large-scale program or can even start small. Your company can start a recycling program or even just encourage employees to waste less paper. You might want to think about implementing more online video in your hiring process to cut down on printing resumes or flying candidates out for in-person meetings. Utilizing video resumes and interviews, you can still connect with the top talent you need while minimizing your carbon footprint.
Whatever green initiatives you start, make sure employees know what your organization is doing to help the environment and consider taking suggestions on ways you can improve your green performance.
Implement a Volunteer Program
To help your company culture, you might want to start by helping others. In 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 64 million people volunteered their time and effort in some capacity. This means there’s a good chance your workforce is filled with do-gooders and people who love to lend a helping hand. So it shouldn’t be surprising that volunteer efforts can really boost company culture and employee morale. A 2010 survey showed 76 percent of workers felt better about their company when the organization volunteered in the community.
Higher morale means increased productivity, which means you can help others and your bottom line at the same time. Go out into your community and see what your local issues are. Talk with your workers and see what they feel passionate about and where they would feel best about directing their efforts.
Then pick an issue or partner up with a charitable organization and start a company-wide volunteer program. Make sure to promote this volunteer program on your company page in order to attract great candidates who also want to help their community.
Foster a Transparent Culture
Employees don’t trust companies who keep everything locked up tight behind a closed door. It will seem like your company has something to hide. Instead, make your company more socially conscious by making it more transparent. Explain major decisions to your workers and encourage employee feedback. Don’t let good suggestions fall into a suggestion box black hole. Make sure to follow up, even if you can’t immediately implement the idea.
If candidates know your company truly listens to and values employees, they’ll be excited about joining your organization and bringing their brilliant ideas to the table. You never know what employee has your next great volunteer idea, business plan, or service upgrade. Never dismiss an employee’s eureka moment because of where they fall on the corporate hierarchy.
Getting socially conscious isn’t just good for the world, it’s also good practice for attracting the smart and caring employees you need to move your company forward.
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How can you use socially conscious policies to attract great candidates? Share in the comments!