The newest generations to the workforce have had a front-seat view to some of the most influential and formative events in US history: Millennials experienced 9/11 and the Great Recession, and Gen Zs grew up with the first black US president and saw the legalization of same-sex marriage. These generations are witness to a world of change and are increasingly looking at employers as more than a source of income, but as agents of change as well.

In fact, 82% of workers newest to the workforce consider a company’s corporate social responsibility, also known as CSR, programs when deciding where to work. However, in an Allegis Group survey of more than 1,000 HR professionals, 87% of organizations do not believe their CSR efforts help them attract millennial and Gen Z talent.

It should come as no surprise that their CSR programs are not a sufficient draw because the programs themselves are not well designed. Our survey found that among HR decision-makers with CSR programs, 80% of CSR programs lack a clear, well-understood strategy, and 81% have no success metrics.

Employers are falling behind when it comes to implementing CSR initiatives, and HR professionals are concerned because they know corporate social responsibility is about much more than a company doing good; it is about the passion behind the acts of giving back. And, because impactful CSR can be a valuable brand asset when competing for talent, here are three recommendations for developing a clear CSR strategy for workers of all ages.

The issues. Know what causes your employees care about. Attracting and retaining great talent begins with learning what interests employees have. What are your employees passionate about? Where do they spend time outside the office? Are you nurturing their love of their community? These questions not only encourage leaders to invest in their employees but also drive employees to take part in service projects.

Alignment. When employees, as shared owners of the employer’s CSR direction, believe in the vision, they are likely to talk to others about their causes, helping to boost the organization’s employer brand and improve candidate attraction. As a result, employers should align their brand story with the CSR program. Is your engineering company improving the future? Then mentor the next generation of engineers through STEM-related education.

These efforts, where the CSR mission is aligned with the organization’s mission, help CSR programs achieve long-lasting, widespread employee participation.

Enable, socialize and celebrate. Allow employees to embrace their communities, skills and passions. Consider offering employee match programs to accelerate the impact of fundraising efforts; opportunities to develop technical, interpersonal and leadership development skills; and partnerships with local, national and global charities. Also, have a consistent process and forum for advocacy and continuous communication. Volunteer opportunities and events can be communicated effectively through social media, as well as a daily or weekly internal update.

Getting by Giving

A commitment to corporate social responsibility connects companies and employees to their communities, customers and future talent. Mentorships inspire your community’s future workers. Charity events develop critical partnerships that raise brand awareness. Working with people from different socioeconomic, cultural and educational backgrounds can attract talent from diverse backgrounds. All of these are good things, but a CSR program should be so much more than that. Investing in people is critical to ensure an engaged and active workforce that is willing to go above and beyond in serving others — both inside and outside the office.