By Shonet D’souza
We often hear that the recipe for true happiness and success is when your passion meets your purpose. In his book, Start with Why, Simon Sinek echoes the fact that everything you do should always have a ‘why’ behind it and should always be done with intention. If you are one of the lucky people that have found the why in your job or in your company, then you have truly hit the jackpot. Companies who prioritize and advocate for social good create a richer and more engaging employee experience.
There are several ways to weave social good into the everyday culture of an organization without it feeling like a hollow gesture. Here are 5 key ingredients to what I like to call “The Social Good Recipe”! In equal parts, blend purpose, prioritization, passion, planning, and production. And as a special bonus treat, add a sprinkle of party as you celebrate wins together.
The Social Good Recipe
1. PURPOSE – Survey your employees asking them for organizations and causes close to their heart. Provide context and ask them to consider your values, the communities you serve, and underserved sectors. Being part of the journey from the very beginning will help them feel seen, heard, and more engaged in the process. This will also give them the opportunity to reflect upon their contribution in life, both personally and professionally. When employees come together, working towards the same goal, they are bound to develop creative ways to realize that goal.
2. PRIORITIZATION – Select around 3 to 5 causes that align well with the fabric of your organizational culture. Prioritizing down to this level shows intentionality and brings a strong focus to your overall goal. Too many options will muddle the process and may overwhelm your employees, causing them to become disinterested.
3. PASSION – Create a group of social good ambassadors representative of the world around us. Next, hand over the reins to the people that make up your organization, so they can own different aspects of the process. If you are a company that is dispersed regionally or globally, it is important to select a social good ambassador in every region who then belongs to the larger group at the head office level. This helps with consistent and seamless local execution of initiatives within the respective regions, helping voices across geographies to be heard.
4. PLAN – Develop a plan for execution and come up with different ways to achieve your goal. When social ambassadors put their heads together and create an all-encompassing plan, it helps them become more invested at a personal level. This may sometimes mean partnering with a consulting agency that focuses on not-for-profits. Clothing/Food drives, volunteering at the local food bank or soup kitchen, participating in walks/runs, and building a home are just a few ways to make this happen. Provide flexibility for employees to be part of other causes outside of the top 3 to 5 that the organization has selected. Some organizations have woven volunteerism into the employee experience by offering days off to support community enrichment and/or philanthropic efforts to charities of their choice.
5. PRODUCTION – Making it happen. This part will likely be the bulk of the hands-on work. Seeking out vendors, coordinating and promoting events, and communicating key messages across the organization. Encourage employees to include their family and friends wherever they can. This will not only deepen a sense of belonging, but it will also demonstrate to your employees that you truly care about them and their families. And don’t forget to share your journey and pictures across social channels to further unite the team, deepen the meaning of the mission, and attract purpose-driven talent to the organization.
Last but certainly not the least, celebrate your wins (the bonus treat “P” PARTY)! Recognize employees or groups that have contributed their time and energy to serve these causes that matter. There is nothing like seeing your purpose and efforts come to life!
Well there you have it, social good can bring greater meaning to the employee experience and enrich your overall brand, both employer and consumer. And when your employees come along this journey with you, they become your greatest ambassadors.
Are you a company that is on a social good journey? This recipe might be a good one to follow so you and your employees can find that perfect blend of purpose and passion, as you enjoy every bite of success.
Need help designing an employee experience that matters? Hop on over to www.powerhousetalent.ca to learn more about our award-winning employer brand strategies.