In yet another study into the dismal world of employee engagement, the Hay Group division of Korn Ferry, released last week, found that across all leadership levels an average of only 36 percent of employees are “highly engaged.” The new study of 7,500 business and HR leaders in 107 countries also identified that social responsibility programs can enhance engagement and performance. 

The vast majority (87 percent) of respondents say that linking an organization’s social responsibility efforts to leadership development has a positive impact on overall engagement and performance. Unfortunately, only 59 percent of respondents say their organizations actually do link the two.

“Real leadership development doesn’t happen in the classroom. That just sets the stage. The real development happens on the job, and in today’s world employees are looking for organizations that are giving back to the community. Where there’s purpose, there’s a sense of meaning. There’s a sense of value. Opportunities to give back and serve are perfect places to develop leadership.” — Keith Halperin, Senior Partner, Hay Group

A separate Korn Ferry study shows that the top factor that improves people’s feelings about their job is working for a company whose culture aligns with their values. This is especially true for younger workers, as another Korn Ferry study shows the number one reason millennials choose one job over another is visibility and buy-in to the mission/vision of an organization.

“The world has changed. It isn’t good enough to just make a profit anymore. Done for the right reasons, a focus on purpose and social responsibility has a lasting impact on each and every person who comes in contact with your organization.”  Rick Lash, Senior Partner, Hay Group

Ensuring your company’s values align to your employee values provides the opportunity to significantly enhance engagement. Often companies do have these values, but they are not communicated clearly to employees, who feel disengaged and isolated from the larger company mission. Leveraging integrated performance management systems like Reflektive, it is easy to share company values with employees in an organic yet highly-visible way to increase overall engagement.