Corporate social responsibility is good for business and increasingly, it’s moving up the boardroom agenda.
Although some may still consider it a tick-box exercise, forward-thinking businesses recognise that it can have huge benefits both for organisations and society.
As a firm that embraces CSR, we have seen first hand what can be achieved. As I reflect on what we’ve delivered over the last 12 months, we can proudly say that we’ve made a difference to many charities and organisations as well as the environment and our workplace. But there’s another important benefit and that’s the positive impact CSR is having on our employees.
As Devonshires’ newly appointed CSR partner, my first job has been to review our current CSR brochure and plan for the next. Flicking through it, what jumped out at me was how happy our staff and partners looked participating in our activities.
Our initiatives have provided a vast range of opportunities for our people while at the same, time raising vital funds for charities and supporting local communities. Employees can challenge themselves by getting involved in sports activities such as abseiling, marathon running and triathlons. They can show off their skills or simply have fun by joining the Devonshires choir or taking part in our firm wide bake-off event. And they can choose from various volunteering opportunities whether that’s at our annual pantomime event or helping people who are out of work improve their CV and interview skills.
The feedback we have received from those who have taken part in these activities has been wholly positive. Staff find that being able to give something back is motivating which is boosting employee engagement and generating a feel-good factor. This is resulting in many of our people getting involved in events year after year, taking time out of their professional and personal lives to help others. Employees share their experiences with their colleagues and these are promoted internally, which in turn has helped to encourage other members of staff to get involved too, creating a domino effect. Many have also found that through CSR, they have been able to learn new skills or enhance their existing ones.
This commitment and enthusiasm is helping us to drive and develop our CSR programme, ensuring that it is embedded in our culture and enabling us to add social value. As we start to plan initiatives for the next 12 months, it’s exciting to think what else can be achieved not only for the local charities and communities we support, but for our people and Devonshires as a whole.
Donna McCarthy is a Partner responsible for CSR and Trustee of the Devonshires Charitable Foundation.