“Giving feels good…and is good for business. It can actually be a good business strategy.” – Blake Mycoskie at #SHRM13
It might sound counterintuitive to give employees the opportunity to give of their time and paycheck to invest in others but there is actual proof that giving can be great for employee engagement, PR and for the community. By implementing corporate social responsibility as a backbone of the business, consider the growth that TOMS Shoes and Eyewear has received over the past few years in the midst of a recession:
If your business wants to consider a corporate social responsibility initiative, I encourage you to visit the following resources:
- Cutting to the Heart of Workplace Giving Research Report (The Australian Charities Fund, 2010) <- The first qualitative and quantitative research study in Australia focused on understanding how to connect with and engage employees for better community outcomes.
- Why Everyone Loves Your Company (Forbes, 2012) <- The article profiles greeNEWit, a Columbia, MD based Energy Efficiency firm that has seen benefits in developing a corporate volunteer program.
My suggestion for small businesses looking to implement corporate social responsibility and giving are as follows:
- Payroll deductions set up to give to non-profit organizations
- Allow one to four days a year for employees to volunteer on the company dime. This can be earned through merit or automatically assigned at the end of the year.
- Instead of Use or Lose, try Use or Give. Create opportunities for end of year giving by encouraging employees to use PTO for volunteerism or to roll over PTO into the new year that must be used for serving on their day off from work.
- Quarterly or Semi-Annual Charitable Campaigns. This can be combine with all-staff meetings or retreats to help promote employee engagement and team cohesion.
Here’s the video that started it all for TOMS…:
…And here is the latest video from the company… 10,000,000 shoes later!: