You’ve incorporated corporate social responsibility, or CSR, into your business strategy, but employees aren’t knocking down your door to help promote those activities. What’s up with that, given the research that says this is a great idea?
Andy Mercy is the founder of AngelPoints, a B-corp that has developed a software platform for corporate social responsibility that helps companies such as General Electric, Sabre Holdings and others become “more responsible and sustainable in the most cost-efficient way possible.”
It’s just another volunteer program … or is it?
Mercy’s company concentrates on employee engagement in efforts related to an organization’s key sustainable and environmental issues. He notes that some volunteer activities, such as tutoring, can be nonstrategic, but when they are aligned with a corporate goal such as increasing financial literacy in the community, they can become pivotal to strategic alignment between business operations and volunteer endeavors. They can also be a way to unearth business opportunities.
For instance, math tutoring is great for kids in the area, but doesn’t necessarily do much for your commitment to increase financial literacy — just as recycling at work may make an employee feel good until she looks at the insignificance of what one person can accomplish.
The power of the collective
However, these same volunteer programs, when organized differently, measured and reported on, can have employees knocking down your doors.
Mercy becomes excited as he explains this. What if you could get 95% of the people in the company to recycle, he asks. What if their efforts were recorded and measured, and what if those results were communicated in real time to all workers? “The real power comes from seeing when everyone does something, “ he says. “They see that and they get galvanized.”
The process in action
The AngelPoints platform helps a company integrate its CSR goals with the interests of its employees. It can be used to:
- Identify steps needed to succeed
- Set concrete goals
- Create activities
- Gain senior-level buy-in
- Communicate in real time with stakeholders
- Report results via “dashboard”
Mercy says companies that use his CSR platform get up to 95% sign-rates for activities that are intricately tied to corporate goals — instead of the typical 50% when communication is done just by memo or something similar.
Imagine what’s possible if you could then get 95% of your workforce aligned with a new strategic initiative? Imagine the buy-in, the passion to work toward a common goal — and the benefits that could result.