CSR is just not about People, Planet, and Profits; it’s also about putting employees first. Employee engagement is a crucial factor in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and also a very important foundation for brand building.
Companies try innovative ways to reach out to their employees but rarely give an opportunity for employees to show their love for the company. So, at Buddyinterest we came up with 15 cool ideas for effective employee engagement that have been used by our customers and have had great results. Managers looking for some inspiration can definitely use these ideas to build an effective CSR strategy for businesses.
1. Eat, Sleep and Drink Company Values
Assign one of your company’s values to teams such as HR, Finance, or Technology every month. The team which best represents that value can be set as an example and be publicly acknowledged for their actions.
2. Assign buddy with similar interests
An important part of the onboarding process is having someone answer some really important questions in a comparatively informal setup instead of the manager. Building a trustworthy relationship with someone with more experience in the company and similar areas of interest can help guide the newcomer. This way he or she can better adapt and interact with the team.
3. Vacation with employees
Give people off on Friday, so that you have an extended weekend to treat them and their family members for a cool summer vacation. This is an excellent idea to unplug from your daily work schedule and have an extended weekend of fun with family, friends, and colleagues.
4. Employee, CSR and NGO
Network with a recognised NGO or Orphanage in your locality. Introduce the NGO to your employees with some meaningful campaigns and encourage employees to visit their premises often. Invite school and college kids to office or on industrial visits. Introduce the corporate gift card. Employees can make donations to these NGOs and avail tax benefits.
Give your employees a couple of days a month to volunteer for a cause they support. Start social campaigns such as “each one teaches one” and make it mandatory for every employee to at least contribute 24 hrs in a year for a social cause.
One of our customers came up with 3 causes - People, Planet and Animals; that were aligned with their mission, empowered employees to team up and raise money for those causes, in a friendly and competitive manner.
6. Vision, Mission and Policies
It is critical to align employees with the vision and mission of your organisation. Remind them of your company policies, vision, and mission, do’s and don’ts, with storytelling or case studies. Stories are better remembered than some long drab legal policies. Get creative and involve people in all your policy frameworks.
7. Hack, develop, innovate
Set up an ideation centre in your office. Give them a team, resources, and 1 hr a day to come up with something innovative. Allow employees to make mistakes. Encourage and support ideas which are aligned to your business.
Having people from different departments and backgrounds syncing up to solve persistent business problems with ideas bouncing around can equip the stakeholders with a new perspective.
8. Start a crèche
Make space for kids in your office. Put up a play pen and some sleep bunkers for kids. This way the employee can work towards their deadline without worrying about their kids. With more and more nuclear families, a crèche is a big selling point among working mothers.
9. Employee social insurance
It’s the small things that can sometime make a difference. Besides the regular company medical insurance, give your employees social insurance such as raising funds within the organisation to collect funds for medical emergency, childrens’ college education loans, salary advance, low interest rate loans etc.
10. TED style
Get your employees to open up. Have a weekly ‘TED talk style’ session for all your employees. Get the cameras out, take pictures, videos etc, the next leader for your organisation may be right there standing before you. The good talks can then be distributed usng social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Buddyinterest etc to tell the world about the talent you have within your organisation.
11. Support enthusiasm
Hire enthusiastic people. Encourage employees to break the monotony in office environment by taking up environment friendly initiatives such as “Go Green, abandon plastic cups and plates”. Encourage employees to bring their own water and coffee cups to office, avoid wastage of food and water etc
12. Learning and mentoring
Challenge and support employees in learning and developing their skills. Not only will you have a motivated and well-prepared workforce but you’ll see an increase in employee happiness and employee engagement. Invite employees to train their buddies and also enrol for online courses, MBA programs, tech discourse etc.
13. Crowdfund your initiatives
Crowdfunding can be fun. Instead of catering to all the wishes of your employees, get them to crowd fund a fashion show for poor children, sports club memberships, office celebrations etc. The company can always pay the difference if the target amount is not achieved. This can be a valuable management lesson for employees in coming together and raising money for a common cause
14. Snooze rooms
Snooze rooms are a great way to destress and relax in an office environment. It can also double up as a sick bay especially for pregnant women and employees down with some minor health issues. Well rested employees can contribute more efficiently than burnt out employees. Snooze rooms with hygienic food and well stocked pharmacy can greatly help in reducing absenteeism among employees.
15. Alumni forum
The company should help their employees just like an Alma mater. Employees leaving the organization should always feel welcome to join back and be given first preference for future new positions. To develop a proper alumni forum, develop a long-term strategy with clear objectives and action steps for more than a year, then re-evaluate and build on it. Never settle for a quick fix.
We sincerely hope that corporate initiatives to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on the environment and impact on social welfare also extend to employees.
Your Turn: What creative things have you tried to drive up employee engagement? Share with johnson.ancil@
Johnson Charles Ancil
Johnson Charles Ancil