“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” -Henry Ford.
Primarily, being in business has always been making a profit.
Individuals go into business ventures with the idea of turning it into a money-making endeavor. In this time and age, however, the days of operating solely for financial gain are long gone. While making returns is still a paramount concern in day-to-day operations, modern companies have seen their corporate social responsibility as a pivotal aspect of their business.
Simply said, corporate social responsibility is when a business or company operates sustainably and ethically to ensure that negative environmental and social impacts are significantly mitigated. That said, companies who are socially responsible need to consider how they operate and how it affects human rights, the environment, community, and society in which it operates.
Understandably, there are but a few moments one can devote time to things other than work in a corporate setting. Given the turbulent nature of businesses and how stiff the competition can be, it is inevitable for companies to steer their focus towards seeing what can be improved. However, it has been reported that organizations and businesses that have a good sense of corporate social responsibility have enjoyed a myriad of benefits.
Apart from making a business more sustainable, it also gives companies a competitive edge. More importantly, it makes employees feel happier and more fulfilled. Whatever you choose to have your business engage in—whether it is organizing a volunteering opportunity or developing a relationship with a nonprofit—the fact that you are making a difference creates bonds within your organization.
If you are unsure as to where to start, below are a few tips to get you started in creating a Corporate Social Responsibility Program:
Before diving into the idea of volunteerism, identifying a cause that you and your employees are passionate about is paramount. Determining your cause is imperative as this ensures that you and your employees are on the same page and will be working towards a similar cause you all believe in. That said, reach out to your employees and gauge their interest. Discuss which issues are important to them and their colleagues. If you manage a large organization or company, send out pulse surveys to gather and understand what your employees’ charitable interests and motivations are.
After you have identified a good cause, allow your employees some time to make a difference. Opportunities for volunteer work are plentiful, but you may want to give them some time off to actively engage in these activities. If your employees are keen on saving the earth, you may want to partner with One To Tree (www.onetotree.org) and have your employees volunteer. Similarly, your employees may want to volunteer at a local food bank, join a charity walk or run or organize a company bake sale or garage sale where the proceeds are then donated to a charity of your choice. You might want to have a day dedicated to beach or park cleanup or have your employees serve as staff for a charitable event or performance.
Keep in mind that your employees do not have to volunteer as a team. In some cases, an employee might want to work on a cause that they are particularly passionate about. In other instances, volunteer work that requires time or travel commitments may not be possible for their colleagues. If such a case arises, allow your employee to volunteer on the cause that matters most to them.
Natural disasters, while unfortunate, occur every now and then. When they do, it creates urgent community needs of which your organization or company can address. That said, be sure to respond as quickly as your company can whenever help is needed following a flood, typhoon, or any other natural disaster. As a company, you may have the resources and the unique ability to respond to such disasters in a more meaningful manner.
In lieu of donating time or money, your employees might want to offer their expertise and skills. There are charitable and nonprofit organizations that would inevitably need a website design, social media management, content writing, analysis, and so much more. Employees can make themselves useful by lending their skills, and if time is an issue, they can opt to do projects in small time chunks at their convenience.
Once employees have an idea that their contributions will be matched, they are likely to donate more. Similarly, it would make them feel that their company or organization is passionate about the same cause and values the same things they do.
It may not always be possible to organize events off-site, considering the transportation difficulties and time constraints it may pose. However, you do not always have to conduct events off-site. You can host a drive for needed items from your office. On-site opportunities such as a donation drive or designing cards for victims are simple to set up, easy to get into, and are highly visible to employees, making them more likely to join.
Do not hide your work from the world. Publicize your charitable contributions but be sure not to overdo it, though as it may seem as if you are showing off. Go ahead and document your volunteering events, in-office contests, and other works on social media and your website. Apart from creating goodwill outside the office, it also showcases your efforts to your employees. As a result, they will feel a sense of pride and fulfillment insomuch that the next time a charitable opportunity arises, they will be more than willing to contribute.
Embracing corporate social responsibility not only cultivates a good public image for your company but also fosters a more positive workplace for your employees. By promoting things like volunteering, you can encourage personal and professional growth, which can be beneficial to your company organization. Furthermore, charitable and philanthropic work tends to attract and retain top candidates and employees.
As a business, giving back should be a primary consideration, and what better way to do that than instilling a good sense of civic duty in your employees. That said, you can begin your philanthropic endeavor and pursuits by partnering with legitimate and trusted organizations such as onetotree.org and the like.