CSR A Cornerstone of the Purpose of Work during COVID-19

The sanitary measure to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic – social distancing, face masks, remote work, social gatherings restrictions, etc. – necessarily threaten team cohesion and increase the risks of social isolation.

Faced with these risks, a manager’s leadership can be put in jeopardy and uniting teams turns out to be crucial by reminding them of the meaning behind their tasks. The “purpose” of work is an elementary concept defined as the reason why, each day, an employee brings his skills to serve a company. An employee at a loss for purpose is likely to self-isolate, lose motivation and put a stop to his involvement in the company. It is through common values and clear and achievable collective and individual goals, that employees hold their motivation, especially in the uncertain times we are going through. McKinsey observed that employees who say they find meaning at work have 5 times higher well-being levels and 4 times higher engagement levels as opposed to those who find little to no meaning in their job. 

With climate change evolution, the social and environmental impact of business activities are more and more important in collective minds. Nowadays, employee commitment also depends on a company’s ability to commit to the issues of our day and age. Consequently, employees involved in a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policy are the most fulfilled, and therefore the most motivated and efficient.

Surveys on the topic speak for themselves. For example:

71% of employees want their employer to offer more opportunities to get involved in actions to improve their company’s social and environmental impact;

70% of employees state that they would be more “loyal” and more “faithful” towards their employer if the latter were really involved in an environmental responsibility policy;

79% of young people from Generation Z place CSR as a criteria in their job search, and 76% of them place CSR above salary in these criteria.

The entire company strategy must be devised with CSR as a cornerstone to staff motivation.

As early as during recruitment, an explicit link must be made between the company’s goal and the skills each employee can bring. Testimonies from current employees can be helpful in this process.  

Each and everyone must feel part of a great, ambitious and virtuous project.

By encouraging employees to focus on expressing their personal values at work, their motivation and corporate loyalty is strengthened. Feedback must also be articulated around CSR.

In other terms, as many interactions as possible between the manager and his team must be harnessed towards involving employees in the company’s CSR.

March 30, 2021 – 3min reading time