A vibrant company culture, workplace perks and a great work-life balance are the stuff dream jobs are made of, but there’s another opportunity to offer great value to your employees and that’s by celebrating your corporate social responsibility (CSR). For the staff, CSR can be engaging and rewarding and offer a host of additional events to plan and attend. For the business, studies have shown that CSR can boost profits and increase financial performance overall. With CSR offering such clear benefits to your business, the decision whether to increase your CSR initiatives should be an easy one.
At Expert Market we champion good will through the use of fundraisers and employee Charity Days (allocated time away from the office to help in the local community). We’ve created a voluntary CSR committee to orchestrate our events and in regular committee meetings we plan each month’s activities. From scenic hikes and bake sales, to Bingo, our efforts have contributed to being ranked 4th in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. An impressive 90% of our employees identified us as having a strong social conscience and 93% said we’ve more than doubled our charitable activities. CSR has already positively impacted our business, here’s how it can benefit you.
Like most companies, Expert Market is made up of many different departments that think and work in different ways. Having a CSR committee which draws people from all over the business allows different teams to come together, meet people they might not have otherwise and share their different skillsets. This engagement from teams not only makes the CSR committee more effective, but also can create cross-departmental friendships that make your organisation more cohesive.
To take advantage of this fact, our committee is formed of colleagues who vary in seniority from a variety of teams across the business. This structure allows us to seed ideas early within our respective teams but also helps to ensure that everyone is represented when we make CSR decisions.
At an individual level, the committee is formed of entrepreneurial, high-performing people and our fundraising initiatives are designed to be simple, cost-effective and attractive to as many colleagues as possible. Selecting ambitious and engaged staff for the committee also has benefits for the individual's’ career progression – as a result of their activities on the committee, members of CSR who go on to be managers already have good connections across the business and are known by the whole company from the events they have organised.
A successful fundraiser is often identified by the fact that everyone is enjoying themselves. CSR events not only raise money for the chosen charity, but can also be used as extra company socials, bringing staff together in the name of a good cause. Our summer barbecues have a great atmosphere because everyone enjoys the taste of the food, but they feel good knowing that everything they eat raises money towards our latest fundraising target.
Of course to have a truly successful event, you need buy-in from the top, so to create a compelling atmosphere around our themed baking competitions (and bake sales), we recruited senior directors to judge the winner and we’ve even secured edible entries from our CEO! As a result we always have queues of coworkers ready to buy the cake by the slice and the excitement is tangible as you watch everyone guess which cake has won the trophy.
For much larger events, live streaming between the Austin and London office helped to generate a real buzz. Of course, waxing the legs of the company founders and senior male colleagues was pretty enticing in itself.
As a multi-disciplined company, using our skills to help local charities offers them genuine value, but by helping out with different challenges, extracurricular work helps us to develop professionally. Speaking more generally, organising fundraisers and managing colleagues uses an entirely different set of skills. Creating a CSR committee offers your employees the chance to learn more and more.
Encouraging CSR within your workplace enables and empowers your employees to do more within your company. Fundraisers and activities get everybody involved and create excitement and energy in the workplace. Before long, there can be a genuine cultural change without need for expensive investment or dedicated hiring. Your team are talented and highly capable, allowing them to work together to make your company even greater whilst helping other causes is a no brainer.