02/09/2015

By Greg Hallett, Managing Director, Give as you Live

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an important business practice refers to a business practice involving employees participating in initiatives and often going the extra mile to give a little something back to charities and the local community. Working for a company that has a positive impact on society by implementing a CSR programme can create a fulfilling workplace for employees.

Employees want to contribute to things that matter, so getting people involved is helps to promote productivity and encourages employee development. We all want to be proud of the company we work for, and grow with them within the community, so a good CSR policy which takes employee values into consideration in turn helps the company develop and drive to success.

But employee satisfaction is only one benefit of implementing a CSR policy, it can also influence the relationship between a company and its customers. So, what exactly can companies do to implement CSR strategies within their work place and help to enforce charitable efforts?

1. Make every purchase give something back: Shopping for office supplies? Booking a hotel for a business trip? Shopping site Give as you Live raises money for any UK registered charity. Give as you Live has over 4,000 retailers on its site and makes a donation on the shopper’s behalf from the commission paid by the retailer – making it completely free for shoppers. One of the new features on Give as you Live is that you can select the business you work for and work as a team to raise an overall amount for the charities you support. According to our research, 40% of workers stated that their company has no official charity they’re supporting. This initiative means all employees can support whichever charity they choose.

2. Recycle AND donate, for free: Our research also found that a further fifth (22%) are unsure if their company supports charity at all. Make it certain by recycling office printer cartridges through recycle4charity. Register through the website and choose a charity; recycling bags will be sent through the post which are used to send back empty inkjet cartridges. Each time this happens a £1 donation goes straight to the chosen charity.

3. Microvolunteer: More than half (53%) of UK workers haven’t taken part in any fundraising activities with their colleagues over the past year. Microvolunterring day happens on 15th April every year, or businesses can host a microvolunteer event. It is called microvolunteering as the organisation suggests workers use the spare moments during lunch breaks to complete volunteering task such as writing a letter or email to a sick child. Anyone in the workplace can contribute as little or as much as they like, anytime and from anywhere.

4. Refresh the office and raise money: Having an office clear-out? Spring clean (well, end of summer clean) and sell items on eBay, diverting all or a percentage of the profits to a charity. As an eBay seller, an individual or business can opt to donate a percentage from any sale to a charity as well as add Gift Aid to the donation.

5. Use green energy: Just under half of UK employees (44%) feel that their company should be doing more to help charities and the local community. This statistic should be lower and could be by switching to green energy in the workplace. Ecotricity provides green energy to help fight climate change which is paramount for companies that use a vast range of energy supplies on a daily basis. There are a number of options and tariffs dependent on the company size.

All of these ideas are easy and efficient ways of getting employees to participate in a good cause when carrying out general office duties and at the same time enhances and promotes employee attitudes, behaviours, and productivity in the workplace.

The best advice for businesses to start reaping CSR benefits is to roll out two or three schemes that give employees different options to support charities they care about. The more choice you can give your employees and customers, the better.