Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR. Sounds a bit scary, I know, but it’s basically just a self-regulated strategy to encourage the company to make a positive impact on the environment (Business News Daily). It’s a very broad concept ranging all the way from human rights to corporate governance and health and safety, and can be a great way to manage the overall well-being of your company as a whole, as well as the employees within.
There are many opportunities to partner with charitable organizations that support sustainability, whether it’s the ever popular “GO GREEN” initiative or even something as simple as “Adopt a Park”, where your team can participate in cleaning up trash from the local parks. I know it may not sound too appealing at first, but think about how this can truly encourage employee engagement in a positive way. Team building exercises are crucial to engagement (Forbes.com), so choose something that will feed their desire to make a difference – together!
That’s right – if you want to engage the next generation of workers, you’ve got to consider the things that they deem important in life. For millennials, one of those things is CSR. They become more actively engaged in the workplace when they feel a sense of pride in their work – now, shouldn’t we all feel that way? That pride begins from the first day on the job, and it’s our responsibility to keep the fire lit to keep it going.
Don’t have a CSR program in place already? No problem! It’s never too late to incorporate – but where do you start?
The first step is to pick a non-profit. Don’t worry, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. Ask for employee feedback on what is important to them – after all, they are one of the reasons to incorporate the program, so finding a cause that is dear to them will help! (Hint: a survey would be a great way to collect feedback!)
Next, engage your employees by offering ways for them to participate. You could start with a charitable giving program with a company match, feed the community at a soup kitchen, build a home for a veteran, or even walk in a 5k for a good cause.
Here at INM, we support an organization called Humanility, which empowers and educates street children in the Philippines. Beyond a financial contribution, we’re able to establish real relationships with the children and their care takers,which really personalizes the connection for us. Recently, we were able to provide bikes and helmets for the kids at the shelters, so they could get back and forth to school quickly, and safely. Having a chance to see what we do make a direct impact is critically important to us.
Corporate responsibility shouldn’t be limited to giving or volunteering. Practice good corporate citizenship every day by working with socially compliant vendors, purchasing environmentally friendly office supplies, and offering recycling programs in the office. It will help your employees feel more connected to their job, and the company overall.