Businesses, successful ones, are well oiled machines. From mentorship programs to open-door policies to exceptional customer service, a well-run business knows how to properly invest in the people who make it highly functional. On the surface, taking care of customers and employees is what most business leaders strive for. Taking corporate responsibility to a social level, however, is something greater to consider.
Creating charitable partnerships within the community benefits your business’s bottom line and enhances the company culture at the same time.
Business author Katie Coates says it’s important for organizations to create strong ties with the community. “It is an ethical imperative for developers, in particular, and other business leaders to invest in the communities in which they wish to do business, with the goal of making those communities better places in which to live and work,” she says.
Social responsibility is about leaders gathering their teams to fulfill the common goal of giving back to worthy causes. Within a business organization, this can be accomplished in a number of ways; for example, participating in a charity sporting event, organizing a community garden, or supporting a local research hospital.
Any of these initiatives will get your team away from their desks and out into the community lending a helping hand. Positively impacting a persons’ life can be a humbling experience, and also make you feel valuable.
Banking executive Sean St. John is enthusiastic about the work he is involved with outside of the C-suite. He is a supporter of a number of charities, including Right to Play, an international non-profit organization that harnesses the power of play to empower children to rise above the economic and cultural barriers that can limit their futures. In October, Right to Play Canada held its annual Heroes Gala in Toronto, an event that Sean St. John co-chaired and that successfully raised a total of $2.6 million.
“I am so proud of the collaborative work that has been done to make this year’s Right to Play Heroes Gala another success. The money raised will support Right to Play programs, all the way from Canada’s indigenous communities to rural villages outside of Canada,” said Sean St. John.
Supporting charity is a team effort and can have a direct impact on morale. Matt Schmidt, the CEO of a health insurance company explains, “At first, our employees didn’t quite understand how donations positively affect a charity. But over time, as we’d receive a thank-you message on Facebook or email, or a handwritten thank-you card with a picture of a child we helped send to a camp, our employees realized what we were doing.” He says charity work is a life-altering experience and not something to take lightly.
Whether your motivation is coming from the desire to become more philanthropic or from your plan to improve employee retention and community relations, just take the initiative to get started and everyone involved will benefit.