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Boost Employee Engagement & Retention with CSR


Is your team looking a bit flat? If you’re struggling to motivate your employees or even keep them around, it’s time to act.

While there are many ways to increase employee engagement and retention rates, few are as impactful as corporate social responsibility (CSR). It’s probably not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of CSR, but research shows that CSR is inextricably linked to employee engagement and retention.

If you’re curious to learn more, keep reading. This article will explore how CSR can help to boost your employee engagement and retention rates.

Employees are Willing to Walk Away…

Protester holding up a sign at a protest that says

In an effort to increase employee engagement and retention, you’ve leveraged a number of well-known strategies for doing so. It seems like you’ve tried everything, from offering training and development, to creating leadership opportunities, to creating a supportive and open work environment. 

But somehow, many of your employees remain disengaged and, worse still, people keep leaving. What more could they want?

According to research, it could be that they’re yearning to work for a company that makes more of a social impact with CSR.

It sounds like an unlikely answer until you take a look at the research for yourself. For example, Porter Novelli’s 2021 study on business and social justice in the US noted that based on their findings, the majority of Americans are sending a strong message to companies:

“Silence is no longer an option. Inaction is considered unacceptable. 

Proof of progress is essential.”

The researchers’ findings were paralleled in Atlassian’s 2021 Return on Action Report, which reflects the views of more than 1200 Australian employees across all generational cohorts and major industries. The study found that 74% of employees agree that businesses should be just as concerned about their social impact as they are with their financial results. 

This isn’t just a one-off trend, either. The data represents a 5% increase from the previous year’s report, highlighting that employees are increasingly expecting companies to act. If you’re wondering how these results could even have an impact on your business, research indicates that employees are increasingly willing to leave companies that don’t align with their values. 

For example, the Porter Novelli study found that 43% of employees are reconsidering their current job because their company is not doing enough to address social justice issues externally. 

Similarly, Atlassian’s study found that even though 55% of Gen Z are worried about future job prospects, 54% of those would quit their jobs if employer values did not align with their own.

...But CSR Gives Them a Reason to Stay

Female employee smiling in front of a brainstorming whiteboard at work

Today’s employees expect more than workplace perks and initiatives. 

If you want to boost employee engagement and retention, the research is clear: Employees of all ages and industries increasingly want to work at companies with purpose and strong social responsibility practices. They’re also willing to take a stand about it.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that more than half (58%) of employees today say they hold their employer to a higher standard than other companies when it comes to addressing social justice issues. Job seekers have also been shown to be increasingly conscious of working at companies that value CSR.

It’s for these reasons that it’s never been so critical for your company to start prioritising corporate social responsibility. CSR communicates to your staff that your company is committed to being part of the solution, not the problem. It also provides evidence of your company’s mandate to make a difference and how community-minded your company is. 

In short, CSR can lead to greater levels of employee engagement and subsequently, higher retention rates. 

The even better news is that when employees are engaged, their engagement positively factors into a number of other key metrics. According to a study by Gallup, engaged employees demonstrate:

  • 17% more productivity 
  • 20% more sales
  • 21% more profitability
  • 24% less turnover in high-turnover organisations 
  • 59% less turnover in low-turnover organisations
  • 41% less absenteeism 
  • 70% fewer safety incidents 

Final Words

The takeaway from this article is that if you want to retain and engage your staff—and reap the rewards of doing so—embedding CSR into your company’s practices is non-negotiable. 

So how do you even launch CSR in your company? Or if you already have a CSR strategy in place, how can you ensure they’re actually contributing to employee engagement and retention?

Start using Catalyser. Our modern, all-in-one workplace giving platform makes workplace giving more accessible, meaningful, and engaging for employees. By using Catalyser, you’ll not only be showing your employees that your company not only takes corporate social responsibility seriously, but also that it prioritises employees’ values. 

Whether you already have a CSR program in place, or you want to establish one, Catalyser provides you with the tools and support to take your CSR efforts further. Book a free trial or contact our friendly customer service team at hello@catalyser.com for more information.