In today’s working environment, companies demand engaged employees. According to recent research, employee engagement is vital to corporate performance, with various advantages (Jiang & Men, 2017; Albrecht, Bakker, Gruman, Macey, & Saks, 2015). Therefore, it is not surprising that businesses aspire for high levels of engagement. Organizations are progressively adopting socially conscious corporate practices in response to increased competitiveness (Chaudhary, 2017). These CSR activities are driven not just by the ideological idea that companies can be a strong force for social change, but also by the benefits that firms may get from their CSR efforts (Du, Bhattacharya, & Sen, 2010), one of which is employee engagement. Thus, companies link CSR strategy with employee volunteering activities (Chaudhary, 2017) for their advantage, as the interest in corporate volunteering is increasing (Rodell et al., 2017; Rodell & Lynch, 2016). Employee volunteering comes in a variety of forms, one of which is mentorship (Bierema & Merriam, 2002). Engagement appears to be among the organizational advantages of CSR, along with employee volunteering and mentorship. Traditionally mentoring required physical contact but contemporary technological developments have allowed mentoring to be done virtually. The current research examines how does online mentorship in the context of employee volunteering as a practice of CSR enhance employee engagement through the eyes of employees who serve as mentors inside a Dutch firm, NN Group. Qualitative in-depth interviews have been conducted to answer the research question. During the research, 15 employees as mentors were interviewed within the NN Group. The participants have all served as mentors in the scholarship program NN Future Matters 2020-2021 offered by NN Group as part of the company's CSR efforts. The interviewees were asked questions about their experience as mentors in an online setting as volunteers, how they view employee volunteering activities and what is their opinion of corporate social responsibility initiatives within the company. Thematic analysis was done to analyse the transcripts of the 15 interviewees, following the steps suggested by Braun and Clarke (2006). The analysis resulted in three main themes being apparent: engagement as employee wellness, engagement as employee dedication towards the company, and engagement as learning and development at a personal and a corporate level. From the conclusion, it is apparent that future research should address these various components and hybrid contexts in which employee volunteering and mentoring might occur.

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Vink, N.
Media & Business
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Florou, Maria. (2021, July 24). Online mentorship matters on employee engagement within companies The case of the NN Future Matters Scholarship. Media & Business. Retrieved from