What does community spirit have to do with the employee experience? Quite a lot.
By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce, and they’re looking for socially responsible employers.
Research from 2003 suggested that graduates would be willing to forgo up to 20% of their salary if it meant working for a socially responsible organisation.
Being recognised as a socially responsible employer is a big boost for your employer brand. Not only are more potential employees seeking this quality – but clients are too.
“Embracing CSR increases customer retention and loyalty, increases employee engagement, improves brand imaging, attracts investment opportunities and top talent, and makes a difference for bottom-line financials.” Investopedia
It’s important to remember that just doing a few bits here and there isn’t going to cut it. Social responsibility must be embedded into the business's core values, forming your social value pledge.
Practising What We Preach
As employee wellbeing and engagement experts, we’re often banging the drum about the importance of employee wellbeing. We put our money where our mouth is, and that’s why we’re shortlisted in the Employee Benefits Award category for the Best Supplier to Work For (wish us luck!).
We practise what we preach when it comes to social value too.
At Sodexo Engage, people are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we have pledged to lead the way in improving the quality of life for society and our planet focusing on four social impact pathways.
These are our People, Planet, Places and Partners.
We’ve just published our Social Value Roundup for H1, detailing what we’ve done and explaining why it matters to our people and yours.
Here are a few highlights of our roundup, but you can read the full report here.
Our Pledge to Our People
We help our colleagues to be the best they can be, enabling them to fulfil their personal career ambitions and access services that support their health and wellbeing needs while encouraging their commitment to supporting their communities through volunteering and fundraising.
What We Did
In September 2022, Milton Keynes hosted their Pride Festival; Sodexo Engage was a proud local supporter, providing t-shirts, festival packs, flyers, and pins. In addition, we shared awareness information with our employees and gave them some spending money so that they and up to 3 members of their families could meet up and participate in the MK Pride activities.
Our annual employee mentoring programme supports and develops our people. This scheme started in October 2022, and we have ten employees participating. The mentoring partnership provides growth opportunities for both the mentee and the mentor.
Why It Matters
Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that employees working within diverse workplaces were 45% more likely to report a growth in market share and 70% more likely to report capturing a new market.
Creating mentoring opportunities across departments allows employees to see the excellent work taking place beyond their team. It’s also an opportunity to increase colleague appreciation and highlight potential improvements.
Better still, your employees will start visualising what they can achieve when they step out of their silos and work collaboratively to reach the overall business goals.
Our Pledge to Our Planet
At Sodexo Engage, we’re aiming to foster a culture of environmental responsibility. So, we pledge to evaluate and positively change our business’ environmental impact by reducing absolute Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 65% by 2030 and 90% by 2035.
What We Did
In February 2023, we moved all physical servers to the Microsoft Azure Cloud environment, making our operations between 72% and 98% more carbon efficient.
In September 2022, we introduced a new program to redistribute old company laptops and desktops to our colleagues. These devices are fully licensed for Windows 10 with Anti-virus. Up to the end of January, we have redistributed 68 computers to our colleagues.
Why It Matters
Climate anxiety is real, especially among the younger generations, and these are the people who will make up the future workforce. Research from 2003 suggested that graduates would be willing to forgo up to 20% of their salary if it meant working for a socially responsible organisation. 64% of young people don’t think the government is doing enough to avoid a climate crisis, and they will expect their employers to act responsibly.
Our Pledge to Our Places
At the heart of our mission to improve quality of life, we are committed to contributing to the economic, social, and environmental development of the cities, regions and countries in which we work.
What We Did
As part of our partnership with a local senior school, we provided financial and skills-based support to help them build their new brand and deliver their Pupil Reward Scheme. As part of this partnership, we also provide rewards and books for their new library, including a novel for all Key Stage 3 students to own.
Sodexo Engage continues to provide ongoing annual financial support to a promising teenage athlete, Ayesha Jones, at our partnered school. The funds contributed help with the cost of travelling to athletic meets and sports equipment, which is a financial help to the family.
The talented athlete who is in Year 11 at Stantonbury School is now competing for both England and GB in the javelin.
Why It Matters
According to research, 64% of millennials will assess a business’s social and environmental commitments before accepting a job offer. So, for example, if your business raises funds for a mental health charity, your employees’ mental wellbeing should also be a priority. Otherwise, you’re at risk of being inauthentic, impacting your credibility.
79% of workers said they worked harder when recognised, and 78% were more productive!
Our Pledge to Our Partners
Our success is built on a wide range of partner networks that contribute to our growth, performance, and effectiveness.
What We Did
In October 2022, 35 employees did 105 hours of volunteering at the MK Food Bank. Working three-hour shifts, Sodexo Engage employees made a significant difference, packing the bags and crates distributed to emergency food collection points in Milton Keynes. In January 2023, our employees returned to MK Food Bank, with 27 people volunteering for a combined total of 81 hours.
In December 2022, Sodexo Engage employees raised £2,694 for MK Act, a charity to support victims of domestic abuse, by hosting an employee raffle. Employees also joined forces to purchase and donate 102 Christmas gifts for the children and adults at the shelter.
Why It Matters
82% of employees say that volunteering develops their work skills and knowledge, doubling as an employer benefit.
Businesses go through an extensive process to ensure they’re attracting the right talent, and from what we can see, you’re hiring good people! Out of the approx. six million employed people already using their workplace skills voluntarily, a further 50% have expressed a wish to volunteer.
If you’d like to take steps towards boosting your social value credentials, the articles below are an excellent place to start:
Greener Engagement Strategies that Boost Wellbeing & Your Social Value CredentialsMentoring in the Workplace: Discover the Benefits to Your Business
We’re committed to providing products and resources to empower your people and boost your business. Arrange a call with one of our employee experience experts to learn more.
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