This article is part of a series on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that features RV Industry Association members who are leading the way with impressive CSR efforts in our industry. This is the last in a three-part series where we have heard from KOA Care Camps on the personal and business motivations for CSR programs and how to get started with a CSR program. Owner of Utility Supply Group and Chairman of the Board of KOA Care Camps Wade Elliott, along with KOA Care Camp consultant’s SVP of Diversity & Inclusion Angela Hayes and SVP of Brodeur Partners Lauren Levinson, continue this week with how to use CSR to engage with employees.

Companies may ask themselves what is drawing employees to their jobs and keeping them there. Many companies focus on providing a great salary and benefits package, but are these same companies focused on creating a culture in the workplace that makes employees feel like valued members of the team. And do employees feel like the work they are doing is making a difference.

According to Angela Hayes who has nearly 20 years of experience in social impact across multiple industries and currently consults for KOA Care Camps, CSR is a valuable tool to attract and retain the talent you want at your company.

When considering using CSR to attract talent, there are three common myths:

MYTH 1 - CSR IS RESERVED FOR BEHEMOTH CORPORATIONS ONLY
Smaller organizations may not be capable of offering nearly a billion dollars’ worth of charitable donations, but that doesn’t mean they can’t impact their community in similar ways. Whether starting green initiatives that reduce waste, making it a priority to conserve energy or interfacing with local groups to help their community, smaller company’s CSR efforts are no less important than what Google has done.

MYTH 2 - CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY = CSR
CSR programs are as much about engaging employees as they are about impacting the community. Learning that their organization donates considerable money to charity, although inspiring, doesn’t necessarily make employees feel included in the process.

MYTH 3 - EMPLOYEES CARE ABOUT BENEFITS, NOT CSR
There will always be a need to offer competitive benefits and salaries, but increasingly it’s the intangible corporate values that inspire prospective hires.

While companies may already be focused on marketing products to Millennial consumers, it is also important to note that by 2020, Millennials will make up more than 50 percent of the workforce. And according to a 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study, 64 percent of Millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work and will not take a job if a company doesn’t have strong CSR values.

Cone Communications also reports that 70 percent of U.S. employees (and 83 percent of Millennials) are more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues. In a time when employee turnover is on the rise, with one-third of job seekers having been with their current employer for less than 3 years, investing in your employees’ values is key to retention.

It is important to note that incorporating a CSR strategy also helps improve corporate culture, creates a positive brand image/reputation and improves customer loyalty. These enhancements directly translate to better sales.

Are there CSR initiatives underway at your company? Would you like those efforts to be featured in an upcoming RV Industry Association spotlight in this series? Contact Ashley Brinkman at [email protected] with the government affairs team today to start a discussion!