How corporate social responsibility contributes to your corporate culture

Our company vision is all about creating success through positive fun team cultures, not just for ourselves but for every single one of our clients.

A positive culture will not happen overnight. It requires an ongoing commitment by everyone in the business due to the many and various factors that contribute to creating a good culture.

I strongly believe one of the most important factors in building a positive team culture is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

There are many complex definitions of CSR.

To me very simply, it means a commitment and passion to give back to the community and contribute to environmental sustainability.

I also firmly believe that it is the responsibility of all profit-making enterprises to give back to the community or environment in some way.

For our business, we have taken CSR very seriously since we established over 21 years ago.

We also, over the past decade, have established programs for companies to contribute to a cause and contribute to creating a positive and fun team culture at the same time.

We call these our CSR or charity-based team building programs such as Bikes For Tykes, The Big Give, Build A Dog A Home, Charity Chef and many more.

So how do these CSR programs and programs like this contribute to your corporate culture?

1. Our actions affect our community

This is one of our own company values. As a business owner, I recognise that everything we as an organisation do has a broader impact on the world around us, both positive and negative.

We often take for granted the luxury of being employed, a roof over our heads, three meals a day and accessible medical support.

Sometimes it’s not until you hear the stories of families who don’t have some of these things that you truly appreciate what you have.

Our Bikes For Tykes program is designed around this. It’s a fun program about building bikes which are then donated to families in need.

We have been delivering this program for clients for more than six years and given away over 6,000 bikes in this time.

Still to this day, I get a chill when facilitating the conclusion of this program. Hearing the stories, the pain and the challenges these children and families endure bring tears and reinforce how simple it can be to make a difference.

2. It’s all about your team

Many businesses, large and small, fall into the trap of evaluating everything they do around the benefit to the business and often the bottom line.

I appreciate that operating profitably is important, however it is important to also appreciate that much of the work you do is done by a broader team, much larger than you - your staff.

It’s important to recognise that community involvement and CSR is high on the personal values list of most people these days.

So identifying a cause or a way of giving back in consultation with your team will engage, inspire and often bring out passion in your people that you may not have experienced to that point.

We have a program called The Big Give that can bring out this unseen passion and joy. It involves your team working with a charity group to give in a big way, whether that is transforming a facility or helping a local community get back on its feet after a natural disaster.

3. It feels good

We all love feeling good. If we feel good, we often work more effectively and productively, and treat people more pleasantly.

The joy in giving and making difference feels good.

Any program that gives back and highlights how this giving is making a difference will transform your team.

Whether it is building toys for underprivileged kids, donating valuable goods and services for disadvantaged families or cooking a meal for the homeless, the appreciation and happiness this creates in others will unify your team.

As Winston Churchill said, “we make a living by what we get - we make a life by what we give”.

CSR programs are not only extremely beneficial to local and global communities, they will significantly contribute to building your positive fun team culture.

Dwain Richardson, Managing Director, Corporate Challenge Events - a specialist in delivering CSR events in New Zealand and Australia

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