- Establishing a social mission
- Identifying focus areas
- Pursuing numerous initiatives
What’s missing from the corporate social responsibility program described above?
An employee-led CSR approach.
Employees want more than to passively participate in a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy; they want to be active participants who help mould how their company’s CSR programs are executed.
Interested in developing an employee-led CSR program—empowering your employees to help lead CSR efforts for greater results? We discuss 4 tactics on how you can equip your employees to become impactful changemakers on behalf of your organization.
1) Let employees choose social causes
Employees who have a chance to choose causes that align with their individual values are more likely to initiate CSR efforts on behalf of that cause (both in the workplace and personally). There’s also a greater chance they’ll continue contributing to those causes long-term when it piques individual interest and desire.
Although employees can discover causes on their own to support, it helps for your organization to aggregate a pool of causes for them to select.
Here are some tips that can help you decide which causes to include:
Review company values
First, think about your company’s mission and values. Then, consider how each cause could potentially align with your business’s values and help you achieve your mission.
Let’s say you run a business that makes shoes from sustainable, recycled materials. You may want to choose a cause that works effortlessly to encourage recycling and reuse in their communities.
Consider employee values
When you’re choosing which social causes to support, remember that these causes should be selected based on what your employees personally align with. If you are unsure what your employees value, ask them.
The more you can gauge how likely they are to participate in a CSR program, what motivates them to participate, and what they think would make such a program successful, the easier it will be for you to find causes for them to select from.
If your employees are passionate about developing a long-term relationship with a charity or nonprofit, choose causes that frequently recognize and celebrate their volunteers. Or, if your employees state they would want 4+ volunteer days a year, find causes with a large number of volunteer opportunities throughout the year.
Give employees a voice
Although your company can select as many causes as you deem necessary for your employees to choose from, it is important to open the floor and make room for any feedback.
Ask your employees to choose any causes they already support outside of work or the ones they have always wanted to support but haven’t had the opportunity to.
2) Allow employees to find volunteer & event opportunities
After employees help choose which social causes to support, their next responsibility is to look for specific volunteer, donation, event, and fundraising opportunities they can participate in within those causes.
Here’s how to ensure your employees are aware and motivated to participate in local opportunities:
Make contact information visible
Each cause your organization (and employees) support should have the contact information made visible for everyone to see. At any time, employees can find the specific cause(s) they are interested in, get in touch with the suitable contact, and find out how, when, and where they can make an impact.
Build-in corporate giving days
To encourage volunteerism in the workplace and maximize participation, employees should receive several volunteer days throughout the quarter. Paid time off, which means added encouragement from their employer to go out and get involved, will result in greater participation.
Create a sharing board
Regardless of which messaging platform your company uses to communicate internally, create a separate channel centred around the dissemination of corporate giving opportunities.
Your employees can take the lead here, sharing any volunteer, donation, or fundraising opportunity they come across.
3) Enable employees to share social impact
Sharing social impact shouldn’t just be led from the organizational level. Employee-led CSR programs should encourage employees to take the reins: sharing the good they are doing and the results they are achieving.
Social impact can include an employee posting a photo from their recent volunteer day, sharing the amount of money they have recently donated, and highlighting the total number of causes they have supported.
Some benefits of employees sharing their impact are:
- Enhanced exposure– All their connections can see how they are giving back to the community on behalf of their workplaces
- Increased connections– Their posts might reach another charity or nonprofit on social media that is interested in gaining support from a new source of help
- Maximum transparency- When an employee’s actions are made visible—and backed by data or photos—this breeds greater trust among their connections.
How can social impact be shared? Aside from employees posting on their own social networks and your company featuring them on your corporate social media channels, consider a social impact platform.
A social impact platform enables all employees involved in your CSR programs to post about each initiative they take part in on their own social impact profile. Other ambitious brands, nonprofits, and passionate changemakers they connect with can view the good they are doing at all times.
4) Encourage employees to give continual feedback
When you make employees core players in your company’s purpose, you must go beyond letting them select and participate in causes close to their hearts—you should also encourage employees to give feedback at any time.
Since employee-led CSR programs enable your employees to participate in opportunities and share their social impact, it only makes sense that these employees are also the ones giving feedback.
Pave the way with employee-led CSR programs
Employees who have the autonomy to choose which social causes to support, find opportunities that match their interests, share their social impact, and give feedback at any time are more likely to participate long-term in a CSR program.
A CSR program wouldn’t have the same success if it weren’t for the input from your employees. Therefore, why not give them the opportunity to take the lead in certain aspects of your company’s CSR program to achieve greater results?