As employee volunteerism continues to spread across corporate America, companies have increasingly wanted to measure the impact of their efforts.  As reported recently on CSRWire, HandsOn Network’s ROI and Impact Measurement Study, spearheaded by Coca-Cola, KPMG, and The Home Depot, will use online surveys to gather data directly from a company’s volunteers. Measurements will focus on impacts related to sales, recruiting, skill development, satisfaction, brand, and social-value creation.

Intuitively we know that doing good does well for the company as employees become more engaged and proud brand ambassadors when they feel their companies are socially responsible.  Yet, I could not agree more that we need to take to the next level our understanding of the link between employee volunteerism and the bottom line.  It’s critical for companies to have a tool to enable them to better focus their philanthropic efforts and measure the effect of their CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives so they can manage their volunteerism in ways that maximize the impact on both the business and the community

Previous studies have shown that when employees understand how their company’s CSR initiatives make a difference in their jobs and in their communities, engagement levels rise.  For instance, Sirota Survey Intelligence (May 2007) found that employees who are satisfied with their company’s commitment to CSR are likely to be more positive, more engaged and more productive than those working for less responsible employers.  Sirota’s survey found that when employees have a positive view of their employer’s CSR commitment, employee engagement rises to 86 percent; when employees don’t have a positive view of their employer’s CSR activities that level drops to 37 percent.  The survey also found that of the employees who are satisfied with their company’s commitment to CSR:

  • 82 percent feel their organization is highly competitive in the marketplace
  • 75 percent feel their employer is interested in their well-being
  • 71 percent rate senior management as having high integrity
  • 67 percent feel that senior management has a strong sense of direction

But how do these “feelings” affect the bottom line?  I highly suspect that the ROI and Impact Measurement Study is going to show that employee volunteerism initiatives drive engagement which unlocks human potential and leads to better performance overall.

Author: Mark Johnson is President and CEO of Loyalty 360 – The Loyalty Marketer’s Association.  Loyalty 360 is the only organization that addresses the full spectrum of both customer and employee loyalty issues.  An unbiased, market driven clearinghouse and think-tank for loyalty and engagement opportunities, insights, and responses, Loyalty 360 is the source business leaders trust for industry metrics, market driven research, actionable case studies, and networking opportunities.