Are you engaging with Corporate Social Responsibility?
It’s not long now until International Day of the Charity, a UN-recognised day of significance. Have you thought about how your organisation can be giving back and how you can be taking charge of these initiatives as a leader?
Never heard of the International Day of the Charity before? Here’s a snippet from the official UN website:
“In the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015, the United Nations recognises that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. The Agenda also calls for a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. It also acknowledges the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and that of civil society organisations and philanthropic organisations in the implementation of the new Agenda.”
Put simply? There are a lot of injustices in the world and there are lots of great charities out there doing amazing work, so we should be celebrating them, donating to them and working alongside them. It’s especially important to note that this isn’t just a goal for individuals — organisations are specifically called on to do their bit. Most often, this is known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
What might CSR look like for your organisation?
There are so many ways your organisation can engage in CSR. Firstly, take a look at your own goals and see where you can make small changes to support social causes. This could look like:
- Giving a portion of profits to a charity.
- Switching to fair-trade products in your office or ensuring the products you sell are environmentally friendly.
- Volunteering in your local community.
- Engaging in carbon-offset initiatives.
Another way to decide what you’ll engage with is to take a look at your team and discover what’s important to them. Many of your team will have causes close to their hearts if they or their family members have been affected by cancer, disabilities or even natural disasters like the bushfires. Engaging in a cause that’s already personal can benefit your team even more.
The great news is, if you aren’t already engaging in CSR, you can start small and build your way up. Making a positive impact in the world is all about those small steps, moving forward no matter how slowly.
How can CSR boost your team’s morale?
CSR isn’t just good for the world, it’s also great for your team. Back in 2012, Net Impact found that 72% of students about to enter the workforce stated that a job where they can make an impact on causes and issues that are important to them was something they wanted out of their work life. When you’re giving your team an opportunity to engage with CSR, you’re giving them a working environment that aligns with their need to make the world a better place.
As a leader, you can encourage your team to think widely, and to use your organisation’s resources to do good in the world. CSR boosts that sense of purpose that we’re all looking for and gives your team a way to act on it.
Make it meaningful
CSR is not about ticking those boxes for the sake of it. If you’re engaging in CSR just to look good, you won’t get very far. Authenticity is important and employees and audiences can smell insincerity from a mile away. You can make sure your CSR is meaningful by always bringing it back to your goals and values. When your actions align with your words, you know you’re doing it right.
It’s also important to make sure your CSR is achievable for the long haul. A once-off donation will do good for any charity but regular donations over a longer period of time can help charities as they plan for the future.
So, as International Day of the Charity rolls around again this year, take some time out to consider how you can use your organisation to make a real impact in the world.
Are you ready to make a difference in the world through your organisation? People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.