10 Proven Ideas to Rev Up CSR Employee Engagement

Here you are going to see how some of the top performing CSR organizations are growing engagement in their impact and giving programs by over 6x.

In fact, these ideas helped Eastman Chemical raise over $200k in two weeks and powered Cox Enterprises’ goal of reaching 34 MILLION people with DE&I programs, sustainability, and cleantech initiatives.

If you are building CSR programs in your organization you will find these actionable ideas helpful in planning, growing, and measuring participation.

Let’s get into them!

  1. Set Audacious Goals & Share Them (Far & Wide)
  2. Use Technology to be Agile
  3. Broaden the Definition of Engagement
  4. Use Pinnacle Events to Drive Enthusiasm
  5. Empower ERGs to Meet Employee Passion
  6. Launch Personal Grant Accounts Unlock Billions
  7. Win Hearts & Minds for Action With Impactful Storytelling
  8. Tap Into Intersectionality To Unify Engagement
  9. Organize CSR Initiatives in One Accessible Place
  10. Evolve Volunteering to Meet Employees Where They Are

10 Ideas to Rev Up Employee Engagement

  1. Set Audacious Goals & Share Them (Far & Wide)

    Big goals mean big accomplishments. Organizations need to set robust, attainable goals and communicate them out to their employees.

    Cox Enterprises set a goal of reaching 34 million people by 2034. This includes DEI investments of over $1 BILLION by 2026, carbon-neutral sustainability programs, and multi-BILLION dollar investments in cleantech.

    Be ambitious, but specific!
    Cox CSR Impact Chart
    Successful CSR organizations build avenues to activate their employee base and engage them in programs.

    Cox used their massive national reach to host 10 Employee Impact Festivals on a roadshow across America as they set out to Empower 34 Million People to Live More Prosperous Lives by 2034.

    Use social, owned channels like blogs & your website, PR relationships, and employee events to get the word out about your programs.

  2. Use Technology to be Agile

    Your employee’s passions evolve with current events and so does a successful ERG program. Customers, employees, and talent expect companies to respond to disasters and major social issues in a timely and appropriate manner.

    Eastman, a leading global chemical company, uses technology (like WeSpire!) to quickly and safely pivot giving initiatives that resonate with employees, like support for Ukraine.
    Corporate Donor Management by Eastman
    Having a system in place to quickly & effectively vet charities and NGOs is critical to an agile employee giving program.

    “My biggest recommendation would be, if you don’t have a platform in place that is tailor made for exactly this kind of employee engagement, it is worth doing.”Paula Bulcao, Director, Global Public Affairs, Eastman

  3. Broaden the Definition of Engagement

    Employees have diverse interests & different ways that they want to be involved and give back to social causes. Expand the definition of engagement so it encompasses more, smaller steps to encourage participation & employee impact.

    Use this ‘Civic Circle’ framework to bring engagement to your employee teams:

    Chart of ‘Civic Circle’ by Points of Light

    The ‘Civic Circle’ by Points of Light empowers employees to lead, lend support, and take action on causes they believe in through easy activities like listening & learning as well as more involved volunteering and giving.

    Check out this video about the ‘Civic Circle’ by Points of Light!

  4. Use Pinnacle Events to Drive Enthusiasm

    Successful CSR employee impact programs that drive corporate giving & engagement generate excitement through signature events. They raise awareness and generate a sense of shared purpose in corporate social impact initiatives.

    Cox Enterprise used major events like their ‘Chairman’s Challenge’ to engage employees in carbon offsetting activities.

    Cox uses WeSpire's Employee Carbon Management Solution

    Cox uses engagement technology to show employees what they can do to offset their carbon footprint while displaying their total contribution to the overall campaign.

    Use major events and CSR metric tracking to activate social impact and employee engagement over time.

  5. Empower ERGs to Meet Employee Passion

    ERGs are a powerful tool to keep employees connected and passionate about their community impact & corporate social responsibility initiatives.

    Organizations, like Eastman, use technology to connect ERGs globally and have grown their participation by 55%.

    How do they do it?

    They use ERG management tools, like WeSpire, to empower and encourage internal community leaders through clearly defined metrics and campaigns.

    By using technology to launch initiatives organizations are able to connect global communities on a single platform and meet minority groups where their passion lives to drive social impact.

  6. Launch Personal Grant Accounts to Unlock Billions

    Most employee matching initiatives are antiquated and leave 100% of the responsibility on the employee themself.

    Innovative corporate giving programs are using personal grant accounts to put funds directly in the hands of employees. WeSpire has seen a 600% increase in giving participation by implementing the grant accounts across our client’s giving campaigns.
    Diagram of WeSpire's Employee Donor Management Software

    Personal grant accounts make giving more equitable, effective, engaging, and make social impact initiatives more… impactful!

  7. Win Hearts & Minds for Action with Impactful Storytelling

    Give employees motivation to act with a clear story about your corporate social impact initiatives.

    When CSR departments show employees how their work impacts individual experiences they can relate and be more motivated to act.

    WeSpire's Corporate Social Responsibility Story
    Use social media and internal communication channels to show employees what their colleagues are doing to build social impact in their communities.

    A well crafted corporate social responsibility story will go a long way in engaging employees.

  8. Tap Into Intersectionality To Unify Engagement

    Intersectionality is an important part of CSR employee engagement programs.

    But what exactly is intersectionality and how can it result in better ESG outcomes?

    Successful and innovative CSR impact programs work to be at the intersection of all employee interests and passions including sustainability, DE&I, giving, wellness, and more.

    Cox Enterprises achieves this through their custom ESG platform (by WeSpire!) that brings together all of their initiatives in one place.

    Image of WeSpire's Employee Engagement Software, used by Cox Enterprise

    Cox Enterprises has nearly 2X employee participation by using WeSpire’s CSR software to unify engagement across teams and interests.

  9. Organize CSR Initiatives in One Accessible Place

    CSR initiatives have long been stratified along team boundaries including excel sheets, chat groups, and the occasional calendar invite.
    Having a CSR platform that includes corporate giving, ERG management, sustainability campaigns, and social impact all in one place is critical for growing employee engagement in the modern era.

    Screenshot of WeSpire's Corporate Social Responsibility Software
    The gap between motivation and action can be solved by increased accessibility to a myriad of CSR tools all in one location, or for a more bootstrapped method through a cohesive accessibility plan across teams.

  10. Evolve Volunteering to Meet Employees Where They Are

    Employee volunteer management is a critical toolset in engaging teams in volunteer opportunities.

    But how does it evolve with the passions and interests of the employee?

    To harness these passions CSR engagement teams must:

    – Engage with local opportunities, 
    – Empower individuals with playbooks & toolkits, 
    – Offer alternative activities, and embed service and giving within company volunteering culture
    Screenshot of tips for Corporate Volunteering
    Having volunteering resources directly at the fingertips of employees empowers them to make an impact while a clear toolkit and mission makes it easy to engage.

Are you ready to build a better working world?