A comprehensive global study released today by the Hay Group division of Korn Ferry, the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm, shows that there is a critical need to improve employee engagement.
The survey, which includes data from more than 7,500 business and HR leaders in 107 countries, found that across all leadership levels, an average of only 36 percent of employees are “highly engaged.” The survey also found that leveraging a social responsibility agenda to develop leaders can help reverse this trend.
The vast majority (87 percent) of respondents say that linking an organization’s social responsibility efforts to leadership development has a positive impact on overall engagement and performance. Unfortunately, only 59 percent of respondents say their organizations actually do link the two.
“Real leadership development doesn’t happen in the classroom. That just sets the stage,” said Hay Group Senior Partner Keith Halperin.
“The real development happens on the job, and in today’s world employees are looking for organizations that are giving back to the community. Where there’s purpose, there’s a sense of meaning. There’s a sense of value. Opportunities to give back and serve are perfect places to develop leadership.”
See: Focus on Extrinsic and Intrinsic Factors that Help Improve Employee Engagement
A separate Korn Ferry study shows that the top factor that improves people’s feelings about their job is working for a company whose culture aligns with their values. This is especially true for younger workers, as study shows the number one reason millennials choose one job over another is visibility and buy-in to the mission/vision of an organization.
“Tapping into an organization’s social responsibility platform is critically important to attracting, developing and retaining top talent,” said Noah Rabinowitz, senior partner and global head of Hay Group’s Leadership Development Practice. “It provides a source of natural inspiration for people that are tied to the broader mission and purpose of an organization.”
According to Rabinowitz, solid social responsibility programs are a boon for an organization’s overall brand. “Authentic initiatives create a distinct and positive identity for companies with their customers, suppliers, distributors, investors and other stakeholders,” he said.
With corporate social responsibility initiatives gaining traction, some progressive companies are going beyond volunteerism, linking profitability with social responsibility and embedding these goals in their core mission statements.
“The world has changed. It isn’t good enough to just make a profit anymore,” said Hay Group Senior Partner Rick Lash. “Done for the right reasons, a focus on purpose and social responsibility has a lasting impact on each and every person who comes in contact with your organization.”
Also read: Employee Engagement Tactics to Empower and Motivate Talented Workforce
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