Although three quarters of UK workers believe their employer should balance commercial success with effective corporate social responsibility activities and charitable giving, only two out of five feel that they currently do enough in this area.
These are the key findings of a survey among 1,007 employees undertaken by researcher Vision Critical on behalf of LeapCR, which sells an online system that both generates reports so that employers can demonstrate that they are meeting internal CSR targets and enables staff to search for local charitable activities in which to take part.
The study revealed that just under half of personnel would feel more inclined to remain with an employer that encouraged them to donate time or raise money for charity within working hours, with 63% indicating such activity would significantly improve their engagement levels.
Malcolm Scovil, LeapCR’s chief executive, said: "This correlation between employee engagement and CSR initiatives can’t be ignored by UK employers wanting to increase the productivity of their company. If employers don’t get to grips with the expectations of employees, then they face punitive recruitment costs and unsatisfactory levels of productivity from a workforce that feels its motivations are being ignored."
Some 51% of staff felt that companies had a duty to perform in CSR and charitable giving terms, while about the same number said that their employer should do more to encourage charitable activity within working hours.
Just under three in five believed interested staff should be allowed to take one paid day off a month to support charitable initiatives, while 15% professed themselves willing to take a significant pay cut to work for a company that was committed to CSR goals.
"The reality is that the UK workforce cares passionately about CSR and expects their employer to share that commitment. If employers fail to meet these expectations either through lack of CSR initiatives or a failure to communicate what they are doing to their staff, then they will find themselves struggling to remain competitive," Scovil warned.
The survey found that only 58% of workers were aware of whether their employer had made a commitment to CSR, although it was unclear whether this situation was the result of a failure to take such activity seriously or poor communication.