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Two thirds of millennials won’t work for a company that does not have strong corporate responsibility efforts, and once hired, they are more likely to to be loyal when they feel like they can make a positive impact at work.
I’ve been the CFO of a billion dollar media business, helped start dozens of venture-backed companies and I’m a fanatic about proving the numbers. “Warm and cuddly” initiatives are great, but it doesn’t mean much in a financial context. I’m all for saving the world—environmentally or otherwise—but it has to make business sense first and foremost. And I’m not alone. CFO’s put only 17% relative weight on the qualitative narrative of social and environmental impacts compared with 73% weight on financial return and payback when considering capital investments (Source: Accenture).
As one of WeSpire’s Customer Success Managers, I get to work side-by-side with our innovative customers to help them launch employee engagement programs and create positive impact. While most of our customers cater to their employees, NBCU’s Green is Universal uniquely supports consumers through its WeSpire platform, “One Small Act.” One Small Act is another voice for NBCU’s sustainability efforts, open to the public. For a company like NBCU, initiatives such as these help spur growth since 50% of global consumers are willing to spend more for goods and services from socially responsible companies (Source: Nielsen).
A year before their championship season, the 2012 Red Sox were an infamously disengaged group: manager Bobby Valentine publicly questioned the commitment of one of his best players two weeks into the season, pitcher Josh Beckett played golf two days before missing a start with a muscle injury, and in July, a story surfaced that several players secretly implored the owners to fire their manager and then denied all reports of this supposed mutiny. An ESPN reporter described the team’s culture as “toxic.”
For some sustainability, operations, CSR, and HR professionals, the hardest part in starting an employee engagement program at their company is building the employee engagement business case and getting buy-in from C-Suite executives. One study found that 28% of senior executives feel that strategic initiatives do not get C-Suite support (Source: The Economist EIU). If the C-Suite are responsible for cultivating an innovative, productive environment for employees, why wouldn’t they be the first to jump on the idea of increasing employee engagement?