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In celebration of World Humanitarian Day, we’re focusing on how our workplaces can make a positive difference to the world around us. As you’re probably aware, investing in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives brings benefits to society, the environment and business. Specifically, the business benefits include an improved employer brand, better employee retention, and a healthier bottom line, as consumers often choose businesses who give back.
Once your CSR initiatives are in place, how do you encourage your employees to take time out of their busy schedule to work towards the company’s CSR goals? We’ve put together a few ideas on how to get your employees excited about doing their bit for society and the environment.
Promote volunteer days
There’s no better way to encourage your employees to spend some of their time volunteering than to actually set aside a day for it! Many companies now include one working day per month, quarter, or year that is set aside for their employees to get out of the office and spend time in their local community. While some employers may be hesitant to pay for their employees to put in time at a local food bank, nursing home or community centre, this one day can actually encourage employee retention, team morale and teamwork. Communicate with your employees to make sure they are aware of the processes involved in organising their volunteer day, and if you can spare a small group of people for one day, you can also turn it into a team-building event to boost employee morale.
If there is a charity you’ve partnered with as part of your CSR push, encouraging fundraising among your employees is a fantastic way to support them. Depending on the nature of the charity, there may be something they can offer your employees as an incentive for them to get on the phone with their family/friends/clients and raise money for them. For example, if the charity is a conservation trust in Asia or Africa, you can sponsor one or two of your employees who have raised the most money to go on a trip to help the charity on the ground. If that isn’t possible, the reward doesn’t have to be so far-flung – employees can raise money for local organisations in need through a baking or cooking competition, fun runs, or raffles in the office.
Ask for your employees’ feedback
A great way to get your employees excited to be involved in CSR initiatives could be as simple as asking them which causes are close to their hearts. There are several ways to do this, including sending around an employee survey, holding 1:1 discussions, or making it a point on the agenda at your next team meeting.
Lead by example
You can’t expect your employees to get involved in a cause unless management is also putting their own time and effort in as well! If you can, get involved when your employees are fundraising, make sure you make an effort to take your volunteer days, and keep up the conversation around CSR in the office. Your employees will value that you’re making the effort, and it will go a long way to fostering a positive working environment.