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Social Responsibility & Where to Start

Updated Nov 2021. First published September 2019.

In light of recent global events affecting our environment and communities, there are now more ways than ever for organizations and individuals to participate in the causes that matter to them. In addition, with the upcoming holiday season, the rate and opportunities for charitable acts are likely to increase.

Studies have shown the positive impacts of volunteerism and charity, and more organizations understand the additional benefits an organization can see through giving. Byproducts of these altruistic actions for a business can include stronger brand recognition and increased employee morale.

Most large organizations have teams dedicated to maintaining partnerships with various organizations to help support their missions and provide opportunities for their employees to get involved. But, for an organization considering incorporating social responsibility to their work culture, the first step is to bring awareness by defining what it means for your team. This consciousness can be formed by:

Aligning your core values

What is your company’s mission?

Are there guiding principles that help to govern the day-to-day decisions?

Once there is a defined handful of words with meaning to your organization, you can then focus more on finding and forming the most impactful opportunities.

Leveraging your Existing Practices

Social responsibility extends past time and monetary donations. It includes paying your employees a fair & livable wage, staying abreast of health & safety standards, choosing to work with ethical business partners, and even having reusable supplies in the office like mugs and utensils to support sustainability.

Starting Locally (and Virtually!)

Are there organizations in your community that you work with and/or align with your own team’s culture and values? If so, are there ways to help get involved?

Whether or not your organization operates in-person, a hybrid model, or completely remote, there are many ways to continue supporting corporate social responsibility virtually. Below are some ideas:

  • Pick a theme of the month: Employers can alternate with causes each month to refresh and diversify the opportunities for giving back. Offering employees flexibility with which organization they wish to support (within the monthly themed cause) can further energize, inspire, and create a loop for giving.

  • Offer an employer match: Employers should lead by example. As such, offering a match for a donation is an easy way to communicate an ongoing commitment and encourage support towards giving.

  • Dedicate time off to give: In the same spirit, employers can create dedicated time to volunteer. This time can be in the form of a specific half-day where there is an organization-wide effort or time that can be used sporadically - such as allowing employees to book time during the workday for volunteer orientation or shifts. This approach can help create a team bonding atmosphere and further demonstrate the organization’s pledge to social responsibility.

When an organization evaluates who they are and how they wish to be represented, they can determine which communities to serve, making them better positioned to integrate a social mission into their culture. Once that decision is made, they can establish a giving goal and further enhance policy and practices to build social responsibilities into their culture and hiring practices.

There is great opportunity for businesses to lead by example and provide the platform from which they can inspire and galvanize their individuals to take part in social change and action.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss additional ways to get involved, please reach out to Kiwi Partners' HR Services.


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