How to Inspire—and Measure—Employee Engagement in ESG for 2024
It's hard enough to understand how our companies can (and in some cases, must) participate in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) before considering employee efforts. Here are five tips for inspiring and measuring employee engagement in ESG.
As corporate social impact leaders, we devote so much of our time to making sure our social and environmental programs are a source of pride and passion for our thousands of employees.
It’s their radical spirit of generosity and the force of their collective efforts that make the biggest difference, both in the lives of the nonprofit staff members which are made easier by their volunteer hours and in the real-world status of important causes that their time, money, and talent help to address.
But how do we capture all the many incredible good deeds our employees are doing every day? Here are five data points no corporate social impact leaders can ignore in 2024.
Five must-haves for inspiring and measuring employee engagement in ESG for 2024
1. A holistic view of employee participation
The heartbeat of any CSR initiative lies in the active participation of employees. In 2024, CSR professionals are recognizing the importance of diving deep into participation metrics, and that includes the percentage of employees who donate, volunteer, and take other actions on your social impact tech platform.
Whether it's volunteer events, volunteer projects, fundraisers, or community outreach, analyzing participation metrics enables organizations to refine their approach and ensure that every initiative resonates with your global workforce.
By understanding the who, what, and why of employee engagement, organizations can tailor their programs for maximum impact.
2. Tangible volunteering outcomes
It’s important to translate what real-world impact your employees made through their valuable time. It’s not enough to count the names on your RSVP list or the number of hours spent at the beach clean-up (though these are very important, too).
In 2024, social impact leaders must explain to all stakeholders—from the C-suite to investors to their peers and even their customers—what all those hours really did in the world.
From the number of nonprofits impacted to more long-term metrics like the long-term duration of sustained employee support, think about tracking volunteer hours provides a tangible measure of the dedication employees invest in making a difference.
3. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB)
Giving and volunteerism help employees create that vibrant, diverse community life we all want by establishing a baseline of inclusivity and purpose. But it’s not always easy to identify that connection in our data.
Looking to 2024, CSR professionals are thinking about workforce demographics, but also inventing new ways to highlight the efforts of employee resource groups (ERG) and resources dedicated to communities in need of disaster relief. The guiding philosophy of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) is helpful for understanding now just the "who" benefits from connecting social impact to DEIB, but "why."
Understanding the unique needs and preferences of diverse groups within the workforce, organizations can tailor their CSR strategies to create an inclusive and empowering environment for all.
4. Employee feedback
In 2024, social impact leaders want to better understand how to transform our employees’ valuable opinions into actionable strategies that enhance engagement and create an authentically purpose-driven culture.
Beyond the numbers, qualitative feedback provides a deeper understanding of the employee experience within CSR initiatives. Pairing data with your employees' thoughtful responses can help transform feedback into actionable strategies—which is crucial for employee buy-in and engagement.
This kind of two-way communication also strengthens the connection between employees and CSR leaders, and also ensures that company-wide initiatives align with the values and expectations of the workforce.
5. Environmental impact
You may already know that the European Union and the United States are getting serious with environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) reporting. But did you know many employee contributions may count toward your targets?
In 2024, connecting employee engagement to ESG will be crucial as global companies strive to meet emerging reporting requirements. From employee contributions to nonprofits working on social and environmental causes to your company’s matching program, capturing the efforts of your workforce will help you hit your targets
Final thoughts: How to get started engaging employees in ESG in 2024
From Airbnb and lululemon, the world’s most inspiring and successful companies are leveraging social impact technology to engage their huge, diverse workforces in ESG.
Airbnb social impact leader Kate Walsh says that “Deed allows us to spend time with the data, understand habits in a more tangible way, then bring out our employees’ stories,” said Walsh. “This is the most important way we inspire changemaking behavior.”
And lululemon’s Christena Devlin agrees. “We’re so excited that Deed has now brought our external social impact model internal—empowering our employees daily. The Deed team is full of amazing and passionate members that worked to fuse our brands together, creating an amazing platform,” Devlin said.
Deed is a workplace giving and volunteering platform that puts people first, because user experience shouldn’t stand between you and doing good. We help social impact and DEIB teams foster genuine human connection by empowering employees to support causes they care about together in-person and online, with the data and insights needed to drive engagement. Backed by PayPal and a solid infrastructure of trusted payment processors, our Fortune 500 partners support +2 million nonprofits with ease. And together, our community is doing more good deeds everyday at work, at home, in our neighborhoods, and all over the world.
Ready to engage your employees with an enterprise social impact platform that moves at the speed of work? Deed's experienced social impact specialists can’t wait to hear about your program’s unique needs and how Deed can help you go even further in 2024. Reach out now!