Corporate social responsibility: Why giving back matters to employees
Employees want to work at businesses with positive and inspiring workplace cultures and increasingly that means being able to give back to the community.

The Australian Institute of Management reports the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is growing, particularly among socially conscious Generation Y staff, as a way to keep workers from leaving.

It analysed its 2016 National Salary Survey to find why four in five Australians are unhappy at work and what was driving those who leave.

Chief executive David Pich says the average resignation rate for organisations with formal CSR policies in place is lower than those which have informal policies, or no policy at all.

Great managers and leaders make decisions that impact people’s lives and that impact can be felt well beyond the workplace,” he says.

We spend about a third of our working-age lives doing just that – working.

“So, it is vital our experiences in the workplace are positive as they impact on our overall wellbeing and on society as a whole.”

Business advisory firm dmca provides its employees with one day of paid leave each year so they can volunteer or do pro bono work.

Business manager Allishia Manariotis says it is up to the worker to decide where, when and how that is completed.

“From the point of view of the business, we’re very much values-driven,” she says.

“They enjoy making an impact in the community, learning new skills and learning from people around them.”

Some may volunteer at the local Meals on Wheels branch for a day, while others may tutor students for an hour a week for a semester, on their own time as well as the company’s.

Dmca also may match their donations to a charity.

Manariotis says it started when senior staff decided to find ways to engage workers and help them mix with those they do not usually work with, so expanded its existing Christmas charity drive to create the all-year-round initiative.

“It’s part of our culture. The people we employ also have those values too,” she says.

“It’s not frowned upon at all (if staff do not want to volunteer but) if someone is completely against the idea, that wouldn’t gel with the rest of the culture and the team.

“I think employees care about working for a business that cares for the community.

“I think it’s a unique selling proposition as opposed to another business.”

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