Business leaders have a lot of things to think about: delivering products and services, managing people and logistics, minimizing risks, maximizing efficiencies, and countless other day to day details. With so many critical processes to balance, it’s easy to imagine how community engagement and social responsibility might get pushed to the bottom of the list, but moving these things up the priority ladder can be good for business.
The benefits of making a difference
One thing companies want to avoid is constant employee turnover. Not only does it take up precious time, energy and resources, it can also add significantly to the loss column. It’s been estimated that losing one employee can cost up to 150% of that person’s annual salary— or more. Things like lost institutional knowledge, decreased productivity, recruitment and on boarding costs, and sagging morale can add up quickly.
According to research by Gallup:
More than half (51%) of employees say they are actively looking for a different job or watching for opportunities.
More than a third (36%) of job seekers say company culture is very important when evaluating a potential job.
Employees want to feel good about their organization and what it offers the world. They want to be able to say, “I like what this company stands for.”
Are you offering employees opportunities to see your company’s core values in action, connect with colleagues in a meaningful way, and help make Whatcom County an even better place to live and work?
It pays to be engaged
Just how engaged are your employees? Not as much as you might think.
According to Gallup:
34% of workers are actively engaged
13% are actively disengaged
Actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 to $605 billion each year in lost
Meanwhile, 53% of employees fall into the “not engaged” category, meaning they’re not engaged or disengaged. They’re just there.
Moving the needle
To increase employee engagement, companies should define their core beliefs, share them with the team, and help them get involved. This is where an organization like United Way can be extremely useful.
United Way of Whatcom County CEO Peter Theisen has been helping local businesses with corporate philanthropy for over 20 years.
“We’ve heard again and again about the value we represent, not just through our efforts to educate people about the tough issues we’re facing as a community, but also for providing a variety of ways for local companies and individuals to make a real, tangible difference,” Theisen says. “Employers who engage with us continue to do so not just because of the many benefits to the community, but also because of the positive results they are seeing internally at their organizations as a result of participation. They appreciate the professional development opportunities offered through our Loaned Executive leadership program, and the fact that our model is 100% local and community driven.”
Investing in community is good business
According to a study from Deloitte, social impact and ethics are the most common reasons why millennials change their relationships with businesses. Companies with values that are in alignment with employee values will have an easier time keeping their teams happy and productive.
If that’s not enough to convince you, Research has shown that organizations that excel at employee engagement achieve earnings-per-share growth that is over four times that of their competitors. That’s a pretty high ROI.
Businesses who care about their employees and communities will naturally attract people who are excited to jump onboard– and stay onboard. Why not be one of them?