Does CSR impact performance?

I was recently drawn to an article by the CIPD exploring whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) impacts employee commitment, engagement, and performance.

It’s well-known that CSR is rising on the organisational agenda and is crucial in attracting and retaining talent. But how significantly does it affect positive people outcomes?

A 2021 study surveyed over 300 employees in the banking sector, revealing a link between CSR practices and people’s perceptions of their job performance. Additionally, it found links between individuals’ views on CSR and their levels of work engagement and commitment.

However, measuring and leveraging CSR practices has been a longstanding challenge.

One perspective is to focus on the learning and skills development that CSR can offer individuals. These individuals can then apply these skills to their roles, enhancing their performance and the overall workplace.

For CSR practices to achieve this, they must align with desired performance improvement outcomes. For example, if the goal is to improve an individual’s collaboration with other teams, the CSR activity should involve working within a team rather than on an individual task.

A key factor in the success of CSR initiatives is ensuring these practices resonate with the individual’s identity and the organisation’s values. This alignment can enhance organisational commitment and work engagement.

Organisations with clear values should, in turn, encourage their people to embody these values in all their activities, whether in their day-to-day roles or through CSR initiatives.

As research builds, the idea is that companies who go the extra mile with their CSR commitment and practices will inspire their people to do the same. People who see their employer engaging in socially responsible activities will likely follow suit, ultimately boosting job performance.

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