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Corporate social responsibility: Employee satisfaction

Back to the topic of corporate social responsibility – but this time from an introspective corporate perspective. Social responsibility is so often thought of as being synonymous with philanthropy, community relations, and sustainability, but it’s just as much about the internal attitudes and behaviors within an organization as it is about the external.

Organizations can sometimes fall victim to hyperopia and fail to see that their largest potential advocate base exists just under their noses — often under the same roof. Employees that love their companies are contagious, and spread the positive word to other potential employees and customers. Of the companies that recogize this, only a small percentage successfully align their internal behavior and actions with their goals in a way that embodies internal CSR. Social responsibility within an organization translates into policies, behaviors and organizational cultures that spotlight the employee and emphasize their well-being.

Employees that feel valued, cared for, a sense of belonging, and empowered in their contribution to the greater vision will work harder and more effectively. Aside from this, the creativity and innovation from a happy, committed employee is far superior to one who has fallen into an indifferent routine. I know this is obvious, but looking around at the number of inspired corporations, it makes me wonder: is it obvious? I think it’s considered common knowledge that satisfied employees mean better productivity and ideation, and lower costs of hiring, training, and lost productivity in onboarding. So where’s the missing link?

For me, I think it’s in congruency: An alignment of what’s on the wall with what actually happens in the trenches. From employee hire to employee departure, what do you communicate, how to you behave, do you have a plan? Do you set your teams up for success on a regular basis? Do you have an infrastructure and culture established that fosters discourse, ideation and innovation? What about your management style? Communication style? Conflict management and resolution style? Are these ones that encourage open dialogue, mutual understanding, and win-win solutions?

More on these individual topics later – but for now, it’s food for thought, because you can’t mobilize positive change if you don’t know where you’re coming from in the first place.


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Leila #

    I absolutely agree with you that “employees that feel valued, cared for, a sense of belonging, and empowered in their contribution to the greater vision will work harder and more effectively.”

    But often times, execs don’t believe that investing in their employees in this manner is worth while. It depends on the organizational culture and how the concept of “leadership” is constructed and promoted internally.

    Execs who are rewarded with decision-making power because of their focus on the bottom-line, to the exclusion of other considerations, tend to promote others based on similar values. In such an organization, a manager’s ability to engage and inspire employees often isn’t appreciated, and the cycle continues.

    However, it seems new media will likely cause significant changes in the way organizations are run. Since these media do require transparency (increasingly so), it will become more difficult to promote successful CSR campaigns that do not reflect what’s really taking place on the inside.

    April 13, 2010
  2. Injeddiremn #

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


    May 28, 2010

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