A Complete Guide to Employee Engagement Strategies for 2021: Roadmap for CSR Success
Do you want to know the difference between transactional and transformational employee engagement and how to connect with employees with purpose? Also, here you will get the latest strategies and tips to help you to grow and develop your Corporate Social Responsibility goodness programs.
What does transactional and transformational employee engagement mean?
Transactional — An employee getting involved in a CSR activity, but not being connected or understanding. The purpose behind it, it’s sort of a one-and-done. They go out, they do it. But there’s no real social impact that comes from their involvement.
Transformational — You’re thinking about what it does not only for the employee in terms of their understanding of the community, need the organization perhaps that they’re volunteering with how they then feel after the opportunity, but also the transformation that can tend to happen with some of the service recipients, perhaps at an organization. It’s not a one-time thing. Is it more of ongoing development with employees in that organization?
So unless ongoing engagement in that they have to do it over and over. However, hopefully, when an employee goes out and has a transformational experience, they then have an affinity towards your CSR program. They then get some of the community’s needs.
They understand the ability that they have as an agent of change to make a difference in their community and social impact organizations through their involvement as opposed to a day of service.
We come out wearing a t-shirt, have a great time, and then go home and never get involved again because there wasn’t anything compelling for us in that experience that would make us think about it in a broader context or even doing something from a repeat perspective.
Employee Engagement Strategies
What are some of the Corporate Social Responsibility strategies that you would employ or you’ve experienced that help employees get to that point? Employees take part in transformational and they’re now participating regularly. It is probably time to get there.
So how often would you ask what kind of activities or Corporate Social Responsibility strategies would you get for employees to reach that level that you expect them to?
The first thing we should think about the purpose. So why do you have your CSR program and how are you communicating that purpose to your employees? Is there something for them in understanding the purpose of your company’s CSR program and how you’re communicating that?
Also for that sort of peer-to-peer perspective, is the ask always coming from a top-down? Do they feel strong-armed in terms of their participation, or do you have a champion structure or an ambassador structure where it becomes and maybe you should consider participating?
Needs of your Company
Understanding your company first and then conveying why as an organization, you’re getting involved with this particular nonprofit, you’re getting involved with this opportunity, the social impact that you hope to have, and conveying those messages before during the opportunity and post opportunity to kind of close that impact loop, really helping to connect the employee to that purpose.
One of the worst things that can happen is an employee goes out, perhaps they do have a fantastic time volunteering or even making a donation, getting involved in a campaign. But they don’t understand what they did. In the broader context.
Did it make a difference? Didn’t it make a difference to how their dollars went to use the time that they spent? What does this mean for the organization? So need employees to that purpose is important.
It is important to understand the passions of the employees. So it can’t just be the organization picking the causes and be like, OK, as an organization, they support these five causes and that’s it.
I think it’s more valuable to figure out how to find the causes that the employees are passionate about. But how do you join that when from a company perspective,?
But how do you join that between employees and what the company kind of wants to do?
It’s not a tension in terms of either or so either company driven initiatives and organizations and the company is chosen or the organizations and employees want to give, too, but playing that sweet spot in the middle where it’s okay to do both. And it’s more so that and because what they’ve found is that over the last ten years in.
There are a lot of companies that have had very open CSR programs where they do empower employee choice, they encourage employees to communicate with the organizations that resonate with them that they’re passionate about.
Perhaps they even had some engagement before they’re encouraged to celebrate that and bring that forth within the workplace. But at the same time, you know, companies do have organizations and aligned to their brand, like maybe your bank and you do a lot around financial literacy.
That makes sense from a brand standpoint. And what I’ve often found is that when employees feel supported by the company in their passions, that much more likely to then get involved in some of the things that are being driven from a company view as well.
It really can be embracing both of them. A part of the story that the company tells us they also get behind the things that our employees are most passionate about as well. That’s a big part of the overarching structure for our program.
Can your program be both transactional and transformational at the same time? Does it have to be transformational where you want the employees to eventually continue to do good versus sometimes maybe for the benefit of the cause or the benefit of the program?
It absolutely can. A lot of companies tend to think about things along a spectrum, which is the best way to think about it because no one employee is the same. How they engage is not the same as the needs of your community. Partners are not the same.
So, yes, there might be the need to have a very transactional experience or opportunity with a nonprofit, perhaps from a volunteer standpoint. But even in going to an organization and perhaps painting a wall of wage, an organization and serving lunch, you know, it tends to be very transactional and is kind of one and done.
But that doesn’t intend that you can’t add transformational elements to that event. It comes back to get it to the employees and their purpose, helping them to understand the why behind what it is that they’re doing, helping them to understand the social impact of that opportunity, the impact of that donation, to help them to see themselves as an agent of change and not someone who simply just coming out for an afternoon to do an activity. All that to say it’s also OK to come out one day and do an activity.
So there might not be the opportunity or the time for somebody to be sort of at that highest level where they’re engaged and want to create opportunities with you. Maybe somebody can come up for your day of service, you know, put on the t-shirt and get involved from a company standpoint.
One of the things that companies need to think about when you’re thinking about employee engagement is that there needs to be something for everybody and there’s no right or wrong way for an employee to get engaged at all.
An employee can ever do it transitionally. Try to use those transactional opportunities with some of those transformational elements, which you do want to be thinking about how you’re moving your employees along a spectrum up to the place where they are transformational. They engage in opportunities from a given year volunteering standpoint.
Now, is this applicable to all levels of employees? So the involvement of leadership from a transactional, transformational perspective, too, because sometimes these programs come bottom up.
Are there different employee engagement strategies to get your leadership or your executive team to take part in being that transformational, those transformational activities?
One of the biggest things that a lot of Corporate Social Responsibility consultants need to think about in terms of their leader engagement is answering the question around what’s in it for them.
So does their involvement help them to meet a goal for their department, or is it aligned to the bottom line of the business? Is it helping to solve the organizational challenge, like active employee disengagement or anything like that, and being able to kind of make the case to your leaders around their involvement?
The purpose and the social impact being at the forefront and everything you do is the most important piece because if you’re able to then ladder back any of your messaging, your communications and helping the employees to think about how it connects to that bigger purpose, and that’s what’s most important.
Employees right now are creating purpose, and that’s what helps with affinity to their brand. That’s what helps them stay longer. That’s what attracts them to your company. See if you can help them to connect to that higher sense of purpose within themselves. That’s why you see some great CSR success.
If you need an expert corporate social responsibility consulting firm for your organization then here I would like to suggest to you “Wachs Strategies”. They transform how companies and organizations promote social change and impact the bottom line. They understand social impact not only builds brands but also serves as a major business driver.