What does it take to lead meaningful social responsibility? 

The last couple of weeks have been jam-packed with events and initiatives run by amazing women who are doing some great work in the world – International Women’s Day is always a fantastic time to hear about work that is being done and, of course, to support it in many different ways. 

For over 20 years now I have been supporting the Nelune Foundation – the organisation is committed to providing world-class facilities and services to cancer patients, regardless of their social or financial circumstances – their aim is to help patients fight cancer with dignity. My International Women’s Day was marked by attending an event thrown by the Nelune Foundation and being, once again, inspired by the work they’re doing. 

Corporate Social Responsibility is better when it’s personal

The Nelune Foundation was created after co-founder Nelune Rajapakse AM had her own journey with cancer. Born from personal experience, it makes everything the foundation does even more poignant. 

More and more organisations are embracing the opportunity to get involved with initiatives and organisations that give back to communities to make sure they are ​​fulfilling their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments. Getting teams on board isn’t too difficult – after all, employees are seeking out community and purpose-driven work through their paid work (Gartner) – but the organisations who really succeed at CSR know that fostering real connection is paramount.

CSR matters, so make it matter to your team

Think about your team. It’s likely that you know of people who have gone through health scares, natural disasters or family issues. Even if you can’t think of anyone on the team who has experienced these things, it’s likely that they have a charity or a cause that is close to their heart – think about those crusaders in your team who are always on time with their blood donation or are reliable bearers of the fundraising chocolates. 

Everyone has something that matters to them and they’re often vocal about it. If you’re still not sure, ask! Sitting with your team to work out how you can give back to your community can be a valuable exercise in uncovering what really matters to your team, outside of their work. 

Not only does this mean that you will be able to choose a cause that your team is deeply connected to, it also means that everyone will be invested and more willing to take part in CSR activities and these activities often foster moments for bonding as a team

When you engage in CSR activities together, you: 

  • Learn about each other and your life experiences 
  • Spend more time together 
  • Learn new skills outside of your normal day-to-day responsibilities 
  • Foster vulnerability and honesty for deeper connections 

Each one of these benefits brings teams closer together, having flow-on effects on productivity and employee satisfaction. 

Make your Corporate Social Responsibility count 

All organisations – big and small – are taking from the community in some way. This means that all organisations have a responsibility to think deeply about how they can give back to the same community that supports them. 

CSR isn’t about writing a cheque once and calling it a day. Instead, leaders and management teams need to consider how they can truly support the communities in which they work.

Want to develop a meaningful approach to Corporate Social Responsibility? 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.