By Megan McGraw, HR Consultant at ELAR Horizons
Corporate Social Responsibility can be an important tool in boosting employee wellbeing. Research has shown that when employees have a positive view of their organization’s CSR efforts, performance improves, and they feel more engaged and connected to the organization’s core values, objectives and culture. When staff are actively involved in CSR initiatives, whether through the formation of policy, or their implementation, the act of helping others creates intrinsic rewards through a feeling of increased happiness and job satisfaction, which positively impacts wellbeing.
To effectively utilize CSR in promoting employee wellbeing, organizations should keep these points in mind:
Involve employees in strategic CSR planning:
Employees will identify and be engaged with, as well as feel more committed to CSR initiatives if they are involved in their strategic planning. Staff should be consulted on what CSR projects they would most like to pursue, and be part of ingraining a culture of CSR participation and support in the workplace. To accomplish this, a committee can be formed with representatives from different departments to hold discussions on what CSR initiatives are of interest and best represent the core values of the organization. CSR can also be integrated into staff engagement surveys, which will allow employees to give their opinions on initiatives directly. This increased involvement at a strategic level will resonate with staff and allow for increased employee voice.
Communication about CSR initiatives and opportunities:
CSR is not only beneficial for improving external reputation, but internal reputation as well, and organizations must ensure that they are communicating CSR strategy and opportunities successfully to staff. The organization’s CSR efforts should be celebrated in communications to employees regularly, and should emphasize the positive results, rather than a repetitive corporate agenda. Quotes from employees who were involved in the initiative and want to share their experience can be included, and may serve to promote future projects. Staff should also receive advanced notification of upcoming CSR initiatives to allow them the opportunity to volunteer or become involved. These communication strategies can aid in increasing awareness of CSR initiatives, in a way that is more organic and will increase employee motivation and engagement.
Offer development opportunities through CSR:
CSR can become part of an organization’s learning and development strategy, and offer employees opportunities for both personal and professional development. Involvement in CSR initiatives will give employees a chance to collaborate with teams outside of the workplace, and pursue areas of interest. Through CSR organizations can foster creativity, with staff discovering new approaches to problem solving and completing their work. Employees can undertake activities such as volunteering for projects with local nonprofits, guest lecturing at universities, and hosting or speaking at seminars. The skills learned through CSR can help enhance an employee’s professional profile as well as increase self-confidence, while inspiring development within their role.
Management should participate in CSR:
Management involvement is important in CSR, as having engaging managers who treat their direct reports as individuals, actively coach them, and set positive examples are important factors in promoting wellbeing. CSR is a unique opportunity for employees to interact with their managers, and has been found to create better relationships between team members, and foster a cooperative attitude towards the organization. Involvement in the planning as well as delivery of initiatives demonstrates that management is actively committed to CSR, and to collaborating with their employees. This can build a sense of satisfaction and trust in management, and encourage wider organizational engagement.
By Megan McGraw, HR Consultant at ELAR Horizons
Managers have an important role in implementing the performance review process, however, not all have received formal training, and levels of experience can be varied. This can result in mistakes which not only render the performance review less effective, but also negatively impact wellbeing through increased stress, and damage to the employee’s relationship with the manager and the organization. To establish a performance review process that is more effective and protects wellbeing, managers should be coached on these important points:
by Megan McGraw, HR Consultant ELAR Horizons
Due to increasing life expectancies and decreasing birthrates worldwide, populations are aging, and older workers are making up a larger percentage of the workforce. As more workers reach retirement age, a skills and knowledge shortage is being experienced by many organisations, making the attraction and retention of older workers increasingly necessary to ensure ogranisational functionality. Key in catering to older workers is focusing on their happiness and wellbeing, through understanding what facilitates their desire to continue working, their needs, and what barriers they may face.
Why do older workers want to continue working?
The reasons will vary from person to person, however there are several common reasons why older workers want to continue their employment. For some, the reasons are primarily financial, as a way to supplement their retirement savings. For many older workers, continuing employment helps achieve personal goals, as well as constructing a positive self-view, validation, and a sense of competence, which are all crucial aspects of wellbeing. Working also fulfils a need for social interaction, and helps maintain an active lifestyle, which has been tied to reduced risk of sickness and mortality.
Providing training and development opportunities
Older workers are not only motivated by the opportunity to utilize their abilities, but also the prospect of passing on their knowledge and gaining new skills, which should be recognized in opportunities for training and development. Mixing younger and older workers can be beneficial for both, as it creates an exchange of skills and knowledge. This teamwork may also prevent physical and cognitive decline, and create higher levels of satisfaction and engagement.
Tailored job design
Job design will have an impact on employee happiness and wellbeing, and should be reassessed to address the needs of older employees. Flexible working arrangements can be appealing to older workers, as working patterns can be adjusted to meet their needs. This can include flexible hours and working from home, as well as job sharing and part-time employment. Some older workers may also prefer “bridge jobs” instead of continuing full-time employment or choosing to fully retire, which will generally involve less payment but also decreased levels of stress and responsibility.
It is important for organisations to address misconceptions about older workers, as well as update their policies and procedures, in order to tackle issues that could lead to discrimination. Age should be taken off application forms, recruitment materials should include age-diverse imagery, and references to age should be removed in job descriptions. Training can be given to employees (especially managers) regarding age-related discrimination and harassment, along with information on how age legislation can affect the areas of recruitment and selection, training, retirement and promotion. Focusing on these issues will have a positive impact on older workers’ relationships with the organisation and their coworkers.
Top tips for recovery on business trips!
When flying, especially long haul or for a short period of time in a new city, it’s absolutely essential you recover quickly and efficiently, to feel relaxed, ready to achieve what you came here for, in the time that you have.
Dr. Rattrie provides coaching to help business travellers feel energised, engaged and effective. Below are some top tips to help you make a start!
Can a sense of ‘work-life balance’ really improve your wellbeing? Chartered Psychologist and founder of ELAR Horizons, Dr. Lucy Rattrie, reflects on the meaning of work-life balance, and the difference it can make to the challenges of business travel. She tests out her own methods while in Hong Kong, and shares a few pointers from her personal workbook.