Words by Rebecca Connolly, account manager
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can sometimes seem like an added burden to your business; another box to tick and more work to file… but CSR really can add value to your company and boost internal and external comms.
What is crucial to every business success? Trust! Remember, people buy from companies which they can rely on and CSR activities help to boost trust. If done well, CSR can also increase staff morale and engagement which can aid staff retention and talent attraction.
Contributing to a charity, backing sustainable schemes and encouraging ethical practice are all things that will make you stand out from the crowd. Here are just a few ideas to get your CSR juices flowing:
Supporting local charities
Committing to a charity can give your business a competitive edge and also boost your relationships with colleagues and clients. Choosing a charity to dedicate a year’s fundraising to will not only help your team bond as they work towards one brilliant goal, it’ll also give those colleagues who are more introvert a chance to shine and take the lead on something they feel passionate about.
Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) run the initiative ‘CHUF Champions Challenge’, which encourages businesses in the region to go head-to-head and raise as much money as they can in order to be crowned winners. This simple yet effective competition brings businesses from different sectors together to work towards one rewarding goal of supporting a local charity.
St Oswald’s Hospice has recently launched ‘Better Together Business Club’, encouraging businesses in the region to network whilst donating a small fee to the hospice which will go towards funding two hospice nurses’ salaries.
The World Transplant Games is a fantastic opportunity for your business to get involved with CSR. The Summer World Transplant Games take place from Saturday 17 to Saturday 24 August 2019 across Newcastle and Gateshead, in renowned sporting venues including Close House Golf Resort, Sunderland Aquatic Centre, Gateshead International Stadium, Sport Central, the Northumberland Club and Newcastle Gateshead Quayside. The Games celebrate and highlight the importance of organ donations and how transplant recipients are given a second chance at life. For information on how your business can get involved, click here.
Better Health at Work
Workplace health and wellbeing should be at the heart of every business, no matter how big or small the company is. If employees feel like their mental or physical wellbeing is taking its toll, this could impact the business further down the line. The Better Health at Work Award is an initiative that encourages businesses to get involved with health in the workplace to motivate employees to take steps to improve their personal health and wellbeing. The award has inspired us to participate in lots of fantastic healthy activities and events, including four members of the O Team running this year’s Great North Run. Find out more about the award here.
One off donation
Donating to local charities and shelters is an easy ‘feel good’ way to boost your business’ CSR with minimal preparation needed. Here at O, we support the local Women’s Aid branch with our O Giving Tree every Christmas and we have also partnered with Smart Works, donating work clothes and accessories to women who go to Smart Works for interview attire and help with job success.
Simple office ideas
Taking the time to step away from your desk and chat to your colleagues is a great way to switch up internal and external comms and work in a different way than you may be used to. Bouncing ideas off each other to boost your CSR can help engage your team and give them something that isn’t necessarily a client-related or work task to get involved with. Think about introducing something new to your business quarterly to help benefit the environment, increase sustainability, improve health or do something amazing which has a feel-good factor.
Here are a few ideas that we’ve done here at O:
- O Running Club – kick off an activity which encourages employees to improve their fitness, even if it’s just for an hour a week
- Choose a local charity to shred your confidential files – there are plenty of charities that do this, so you’ll be contributing to a good cause whilst handling important business
- Healthy team lunch get-togethers – we often come together as a team for a fun themed lunch such as St Patrick’s Day, Olympics, Christmas, Wimbledon and Halloween. We task members of the team to bring in a dish of their choice and although it’s not essential, the team often try their hand at making their dish themselves!