Studies have shown that personal happiness increases with personal philanthropy and volunteerism. If so, then that logic can be extended to corporate giving, meaning that employees could experience an increase in well-being from their company's giving and volunteer programs as part of their involvement in CSR.
The latest trend in studies and books on happiness has come from the new field of positive psychology founded by Martin Seligman, of The University of Pennsylvania. Martin Seligman first came out with his landmark book "Learned Optimism" followed by several others including "Authentic Happiness". As president of the American Psychological Association in 1998, he initiated a whole movement in looking at and studying human behavior by focusing on positives with the goal of increasing them, rather than focusing on correcting the negatives.
Martin Seligman has more recently rejected the word “happiness” for the broader term, well-being or “flourish" with his new book: Flourish: A New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being and How to Achieve Them.
Various organizations most notably the Gallup organization, have been measuring wellbeing in different levels of societies for countries, state and cities. Positive Organizational Studies have cropped up in graduate schools to address the impact of a variety of organization behaviors on well-being in the workplace. No one, as yet, to my knowledge, has measured the effect of CSR and employee volunteerism on employee well-being, with the exception of one area. We have noted several reports and studies on the positive effects of CSR on employee in regards to hiring and retention.
Could that mean that employees that are involved with their company’s CSR in the form of workplace giving programs or volunteering also experience well-being and flourish within their jobs?
The answer to that is worth exploring further and is to be continued….