Employee Engagement Through Community Commitment

September 21, 2016

The puzzle of how to keep employees engaged, happy, loyal and productive is a complicated one covering everything from their love/hate relationship with the office, workplace culture, technology, flexibility and more. But as businesses work to address how to attract and keep engaged employees, it’s important that they look outward to their communities while they’re looking introspectively at their own business practices.

Recently, a study by Deloitte showed that while Millennial workers feel better about businesses’ motivations toward community and society than they did even a year ago, they still expect more of businesses and want their employers’ values to align with their own. As the study points out, “Those likely to remain longest share their organization's values, and are more satisfied with its sense of purpose.”

(source: The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016)

We’ve seen this come into play before, and result in big success even for businesses in challenging economic conditions. During an Initiative for a Competitive Inner City panel back in February, Detroit-area entrepreneurs shared their recipes for success in an area badly in need of economic triumphs. Among what they shared? Their success was strongly linked with their focus on making a positive impact on their community and their employees buying into and sharing their vision.

Additionally, our 2016 Workplace Index uncovered similar findings.

  • 14% said their desire to make a difference or align themselves with a greater cause was a top motivator for looking for new opportunities
  • 23% said doing work that has a positive societal impact motivates them to do their best work
  • 40% say their company undertakes eco-friendly efforts because it’s the right thing to do             
  • 73% say they consider a company’s sustainability practices when looking for a new job, but 43% say their company does not currently have any sustainability efforts underway

(source: 2016 Staples Business Advantage Workplace Index)


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