Did you know that a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) can make your workforce more productive?
It’s true — at least according to this recently published study from The University of Chicago. The study documents what happened when the researchers started a firm, hired actual workers and analyzed the responses to corporate social responsibility incentives.
This puts some statistical firepower behind the notion that CSR is good for business — an idea that has long had detractors. American economist Milton Friedman famously called CSR a “fundamentally subversive doctrine,” and said “a corporation’s responsibility is to make as much money for the stockholders as possible.”
We get that. At the end of the day, a business has to make money to survive. And it’s hard to quantify the financial impact of a stronger philanthropic reputation, often touted as one of the major benefits of CSR.
But increased productivity is pretty fundamental to making more money. And this new research found a direct link between CSR and the level of productivity among employees.
“We find strong evidence that when a firm convinces its workers that their efforts make the world a better place (as opposed to just making money), it will attract workers that are more productive, produce higher quality work and have more highly valued leisure time,” the authors of the study write.
“We also find an economically significant treatment effect of CSR on improving work quality of existing employees, as well.”
For all those who have been preaching that CSR is worth the investment, this is your mic-drop moment.
But as with all things, it’s how you use CSR that matters. And employee engagement is paramount. At uBack, we take it all back to data analysis so we can show corporations where their employees want to give and help them customize the most effective corporate social responsibility program.
That’s the beauty of investigating the benefits of CSR now, compared to back in the 1970s when Friedman made his now famous dismissal of the practice. For all the naysayers out there, we’ve got data by our side.
For more information about how uBack can support your CSR efforts, click here.