When it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), doing good is not enough—one must also be seen to be doing good. Awareness is essential and perception is everything. For most people, the default expectation of corporations is that they are motivated by profit, often at the expense of all else. When Google founders included “You can make money without doing evil.” in their list of 10 Things We Know to Be True, they were deliberately swimming against the current of popular opinion.
In the past fifteen years a series of corporate ethical debacles (Enron, BP, the Big Three automakers and their private jets, the Banking Sector, etc.) have done little to dispel the prevailing sentiment that many corporations lack the moral compass needed to make money without doing evil (or at least without general crookedness).
CSR on the Rise
At the same time, however, there has been a quiet groundswell developing in a different direction. Around the world, businesses of all sizes are moving to make a difference in the world, while still providing value to customers and generating a return to investors. These organizations are pursuing a number of approaches in an attempt to reassert social responsibility in the world of enterprise.
While some companies may be embracing CSR in response to market pressures, others understand that socially responsible businesses garner greater customer loyalty and are more attractive places to work. In competitive global markets, and when attracting and retaining talent is a continuing struggle, companies known for giving back to the communities they serve have become vendors and employers of choice. These companies also reap the benefits of a more committed and engaged workforce.
Does CSR Impact Engagement?
This was never more apparent to NetSuite (and TribeHR) than now, after our most recent employee engagement survey.
Shortly after NetSuite was founded, a corporate citizenship arm, NetSuite.org, was established. Always part of the founders’ philosophy, CSR was entrenched into NetSuite’s structure early on through this dedicated program designed to “support the success of charities and social enterprises across the globe with product donations, pro bono programs and social solutions.”
Fortunately for NetSuite, corporate citizenship comes with added benefits. As the survey results clearly demonstrate, the existence of NetSuite.org has a strong impact on employees’ level of commitment and engagement. For example, the answers provided by the 1,732 employees, who responded to the following question, clearly show they are influenced by the company’s corporate citizenship efforts.
Engagement: Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements.
Because of NetSuite.org...
Even more interesting are the results that emerged when employee awareness of NetSuite.org was taken into account. When we focus on respondents who identified a high level of awareness of NetSuite.org programs, we see a significant increase in engagement indicators:
“I would recommend NS as a great place to work”
- 73% of employees very familiar with NS.org strongly agree (versus 49% of those who haven’t heard of NetSuite.org).
“I know that NetSuite is committed to making the world a better place”
- 63% of those very familiar with NS.org strongly agree (versus 34% of those who haven’t heard of NetSuite.org).
“I am more committed to my job”
- 55% of those very familiar with NS.org strongly agree (versus 38% of those who haven’t heard of NetSuite.org).
“I am happier at my job”
- 54% of those very familiar with NS.org strongly agree (versus 37% of those who haven’t heard of NetSuite.org).
“I am proud to say I work for NetSuite”
- 73% of those very familiar with NS.org strongly agree (versus 53% of those who haven’t heard of NetSuite.org).
When we dig deeper into the responses from those who personally participated in specific NetSuite.org programs, we see an even further increase in engagement.
“ I am proud to work at NetSuite”
- 75% of SuiteVolunteers participants strongly agreeversus 60% of those who have not participated in SuiteVolunteers)
"I would recommend NetSuite as a great place to work”
- 90% of SuiteImpact Team Participants Strongly/Somewhat Agree
- 96% of employees who disagree/ somewhat disagree with the statement “I am more committed to my job” have NOT participated in SuiteVolunteers; and
- 75% of employees who disagree/ somewhat disagree with the statement “I am more committed to my job” have NOT participated in SuiteImpact Teams.
Whether you call it Corporate Social Responsibility or Corporate Citizenship, NetSuite has always considered it fundamental to business success. And the results of this most recent employee engagement survey clearly show the company is on the right track.
What's more, the higher ratings provided by employees who are aware of and/or involved in specific NetSuite.org programs offer a further critical insight. While individual philanthropists may prefer to remain anonymous, companies who embrace the principle of creating social good on top of profit must also raise awareness of their actions among employees, customers and the broader public. Better yet, they should encourage direct employee involvement in corporate citizenship programs.
Corporations have an image problem, so it’s not enough that they do good. To overcome pervasive (if not entirely misplaced!) bias and engage their internal and external communities, they (we) must also be seen to be doing good.
NetSuite TribeHR, the social HRMS that’s fostering a more engaged workforce. Try it free today!