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In less than four years, our workforce has experienced a global pandemic, significant economic and political volatility, and two wars. This reality has been a jarring reminder of life’s fragility, prompting many to turn inward to assess how fulfilled (or not) they feel in both work and life. This “crisis of meaning”, as Fortune explains, has resulted in sweeping resignations across corporate America. “People have looked at their jobs and thought ‘I want meaning and purpose in the work that I do, and I am not finding it here.” 

According to Harvard Business Review, over 90% of executives agree that a strong sense of purpose drives employee satisfaction, yet a whopping 44% say their organizations are still trying to develop one. For many, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a great place to start. To maximize your efforts, below are 3 guiding questions for choosing a corporate cause: 

Does it Align with your Company Values?

It’s highly possible that your cause will have a direct tie to your business or industry, but it may also address a more general issue that’s important to your employees, customers, or community. In either case, authenticity is non-negotiable, and the more organic your cause feels based on your own corporate values, the more genuine your efforts will be perceived and rewarded in the marketplace. 

Will it Provide Strong Opportunities for Employee Engagement? 

Today’s employees are seeking meaningful opportunities to connect with their colleagues and communities, and integrating your teams into the development and execution of CSR programs can be a great way to attract and retain top talent. In fact, 90% of employees who work at companies with a strong sense of purpose say they’re more inspired, motivated, and loyal, while Deloitte reports that purpose-driven companies have 40% higher levels of retention than their competitors. 

Will it Enhance your Connection with your Customers? 

Today’s conscious consumers not only want to hear about your CSR initiatives; they are eager to reward them. In a study by Cone Communications, 87% of consumers said they would buy a product based on a company’s advocacy of an issue they care about. Millennial and Generation Z consumers are particularly motivated to support organizations tied to social causes, meaning a relevant and well-executed CSR program can deepen your relationship with generations who will hold significant buying power for decades to come.