Giving Back

Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR is a hot topic. This is the concept that businesses have a responsibility to the community and larger society in which they operate.

According to the 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study, 78% of Americans “believe it is no longer acceptable for companies to just make money, they expect companies to positively impact society, as well.” 

In recent years, employees have increasingly looked to their employers (and potential employers) to be socially responsible. According to Harvard Business School, this comes in four primary forms:

1.    Environmental

2.    Ethical/social

3.    Economic

4.    Philanthropic

Companies can demonstrate these aspects of CSR in a variety of ways, such as implementing energy efficient and sustainable practices, championing human rights and equitable pay, and donating to important causes. One of the best ways to “donate” to those causes is to allow employees to use work time to help out in the community

Today’s employees have a strong desire to give back to their community and to organizations and causes that they care about, through volunteerism. A 2017 Deloitte study found that volunteering drives up employee engagement and that 89% of employees “believe that companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment.” In 2023, Deloitte reported that 80% of millennials say they are more likely to work for a company that has a formal CSR program and 86% of millennials say that they would be more likely to stay with a company that encourages and supports employee volunteerism.

of millennials
say that they would be more likely to
with a company that encourages and supports employee volunteerism
(Deloitte, 2023)

The challenge is that employees may not have the free time, or the flexibility in their work schedule, to volunteer and they may be reluctant to give up their paid time off to do so. Companies can support these efforts by adding Volunteer Time Off (VTO) to their list of employee benefits.  

Many employers offer standard paid time off (PTO) benefits that may encompass a certain number of days that are allocated to vacation, sick time, and company holidays. However, some employers have enhanced their PTO with additional benefits such as VTO during which employees can get paid time off to do volunteer work. According to America’s Charities Snapshot Employer Research, nearly 60% of companies offer paid time off for employees to volunteer. 

Enhancing time off benefits with VTO can increase employee morale, well-being, teamwork (particularly if they volunteer in groups), engagement and retention. Enabling your employees to volunteer reflects positively on your organization by strengthening its reputation and it ultimately makes a positive and lasting impact on the community. There are so many benefits to having a CSR/VTO program in place… why not consider implementing one in 2024! 

Be sure to read our blog about Retention, Engagement & Culture.

Carolyn Ross

Carolyn Ross


As the world of work is changing at an ever-increasing pace, it is crucial for small and mid-sized companies to stay informed and keep up with the latest HR trends and practices. Doing so can help keep the business compliant, viable, healthy and growing, and make it a better place for all to work in the process.  


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