A recent survey by Robert Half Management Resources found that, overall, social responsibility is important for firms as they serve communities, improve employee morale, networking, reputation-building, brand awareness and recruiting and retention benefits.
Once the interest is there in establishing a program to give back to the community, how do firms go about creating one?
Each holiday season, Dan DeNisco, senior vice president of Robert Half Management Resources, and his team run a toy drive for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, FL.
DeNisco says this is one way his team builds camaraderie, yields measurable internal benefits for recruitment and retention of staff and at the same time, creates a good brand in the community.
"People want to support and work for companies that help their communities," Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources, said in a statement. "Find organizations or causes that align with your business values, and offer support beyond money, such as donating products and encouraging employees to share their expertise," Hird said.
DeNisco says, “Start by posting information about your activities on your website or social media accounts. Make sure you highlight the benefits to the organizations you’re helping.”
“Encourage employees to spread the word about the companies and their individual efforts,” he adds. “Make staff the ambassadors for the firm. Solicit ideas from them on the organizations that they would like to support.”
DeNisco also notes that customers can be enlisted to serve as good will ambassadors.
“People enjoy helping when they can,” he says. “If you’re holding a food drive, invite clients to donate items. The good vibes will encourage word to spread about the good works of your company.”
Finally, DeNisco says, “Consider sponsoring local organizations and events. For example, if you are sponsor a youth sports league, your company logo may appear on its uniforms.”
“Similarly,” he says, “event signage and promotions often list sponsors. Demonstrate your interest in helping organizations you sponsor by getting involved in other ways, such as cleaning up baseball fields or asking employees to help staff an event.”
DeNisco believes that corporate socially responsible programs can also unify a multi-generational workforce.
“It’s something everyone can get behind,” he said. “Being a good corporate citizen and paying it forward is just a good thing to do.”
Robert Half Management Resources offers additional tips to help firm build their social responsibility programs:
Work with employees to shape the program. Survey your teams on organizations and causes that matter to them, and identify those that align with your company's values.
Promote activities internally. Provide updates on your firm's philanthropic efforts and opportunities for employees to get involved.
Make it happen. Whether it's part of a group or individually, provide staff the time to participate in philanthropic activities.