Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is more than just good public relations; it’s an imperative. In the last 20 years, companies have come to realise that they aren’t simply money-making machines. They are ‘citizens’ of the society that they do business in. With the rights and privileges of ‘citizenship’ comes responsibility to help care for the world around them.
A corporation can mobilise hundreds or thousands of people to a single goal, but even a small company can have a huge impact.
Being responsible doesn’t have to be a burden, or even overly-serious. Company leaders can make it fun and interesting.
Here are some of the ways that CSR can be a fun time, as well as productive:
- The clean-up picnic – Many companies have an outdoor picnic each summer. One possibility is to invite everyone to a park or beach that needs to be cleaned up. Everyone can help clean the area then enjoy the day’s festivities. You could even pit teams against each other. For example, the housekeeping team versus the front desk team or management versus the maintenance team could compete to see who gathers the most rubbish. The winning team might get an additional day off, or get vouchers for a team meal. It’s fun, it builds bonds amongst your team and it’s great for the environment!
- Company food drive – There are food banks in every town in the country, not to mention starving families across the globe, so why not get staff to donate food? Tinned and dried produce is usually best as it will last a long time. Again, you can increase the fun-factor by adding a competitive twist. You can have different groups compete or have the entire firm compete against itself: “We gathered 25% more this year than last.” Giving a reward is always nice, but knowing you’ve made people’s lives better, is often reward enough.
- Money decisions – Most companies, even smaller ones, have money that they give away to charity each year, but do you ever actually ask your employees where that money should go? You could choose five charities in different fields and simply let everyone vote. You can give all the money to the winning charity or you can divide the funds proportionally. The important thing is that everyone feels invested in your CSR activities simply by being asked their opinion.
- Family fun-day – Children love to do good things and parents love to bring their kids to work. Combine these two ideas by creating a parent and child volunteer day. You could put on a coach to take everyone to a local park to clean up, to a retirement home to put on a show, or even an animal rescue centre to learn how to care for neglected animals. At the end of the day, celebrate everyone’s hard work with a family picnic or BBQ. It’s educational, and a great family day out!
- Sponsor fun – Have you heard of outdoor cinemas? They are widely available to hire, and with a quick call to the local council you could setup your very own movie night in the park. Families can come watch a movie together, have popcorn and relax. Don’t charge anything and let the public join in too. It will be a lovely way to show your community you appreciate them, and a great family and team-building event.
- Ask your employees for ideas – It’s a safe bet that some of your employees already volunteer. Ask your staff where the company should work to help out. They will usually have great ideas.
There are just a few of the ideas that you can try out. The key is to look for the fun in doing the right things.
Your company, whether it’s two people or two thousand, can make a positive impact in the local community. It’s good business, and great citizenship.