November 29, 2016

By Sarah Pozek, Director of Life Sciences

As the year is wrapping up and many companies are looking to wrap up their end of year/get a jump on their first quarter hiring, they are also looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competition. Employee engagement, culture and attraction are all top of mind. In the spirit of the holidays and with today being #GivingTuesday, it seemed an appropriate time to discuss using social responsibility as a means to this end. Perhaps it’s donating funds to a non-profit or volunteering their time. Social responsibility has become an important lever for engagement and attraction. As a recent honoree of Northeast Ohio’s Top Workplaces 2016, DRI’s company culture always strives to give back to the Cleveland area and have noticed many external and internal benefits.

Throughout the year you will see our team participating in events such as the Heart Walk, Kick-It for Cancer (a kickball tournament that raises funds for children’s cancer research in which we have taken first and second place in the last two years) and an upcoming holiday party for children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. These events have served as team building activities for our company and have made us stronger as an organization, while contributed to strengthening the community.

In a recent survey by Net Impact 53% of employees said that “a job where I can make an impact” was important to them (80% of Millennials). As a matter of fact, social responsibility is now expected and seen as the norm in the values of many companies. Charitable giving, donating funds, and volunteer activities can attract prospective employees and drive current employees to be more vested in the company. A few examples can be found below:

• One of the most cited reasons candidates move to an organization is their reputation in their industry and community. Organizations that are socially responsible are more attractive to potential future employees. A report by Forbes Insights reports that 60% of companies surveyed agreed with the statement “Philanthropy and volunteerism are critical for recruiting younger qualified employees (i.e., Millennials/Gen Y).”
• These activities create a more cohesive culture and boosts company morale. Employees that interact outside of work hours are more likely to enjoy their job and increase overall productivity.
• This differentiation helps to keep employees and customers loyal, creating a competitive edge.
• Participation in non-profit events also serves as networking and marketing tools where you can meet potential candidates or customers in a non-threatening venue. Social responsibility is now considered a strategic investment for the organization.
As we close in on the holiday season, reflect on what you and your company can be doing to lend an extra hand. Does your company have a social responsibility strategy? How does that impact your day to day experience?
“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.” – Jim Rohn

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