You have the green light from your leadership team, and you’ve decided to invest in a company-wide corporate social responsibility (CSR) program to engage your employees and nurture your social mission. You’ve found the best digital tool to help you bring your vision to life, and now it’s time to get ready and launch. You might be wondering, now what? How can you set your program up for success?
Our Customer Success Managers—a dedicated team of experts who support our clients on a day-to-day basis—share five best practices, based on their valuable experience, to help you prepare for an impactful program launch.
1. Set clear objectives
Clear and measurable goals are key to a successful program. If you haven’t already identified them, now’s the perfect time to do so. Is employee turnover a challenge at your organization? Do you want to show how you’re making a positive contribution to society? Are you looking to mitigate a reputational crisis? Do you want to be recognized as an employer of choice?
Consider how your program goals can contribute to your company’s overall strategy and identify metrics to translate these objectives into measurable outcomes. Here are some examples for inspiration: Reducing turnover, gaining recognition as a great place to work, increasing productivity, and increasing participation in your giving and volunteering program.
This will also help inform how to measure your results. Do you need to establish a baseline? Will you measure this through an employee survey? Are there any other data sources to draw from? What are the requirements for a “Great Place to Work” certification or award? Do you want to show progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals? Keep the end in mind and plan ahead.
When it comes to the operational metrics of the program, define a road map with objectives such as amount of money donated, hours volunteered, or the number of employees that took action (such as organizing an event). You’ll also want to be sure that this can easily be tracked.
2. Involve the right teams
Bringing on board the right teams at the right moment is key for a successful launch. Ownership of your company’s giving program can fall under different teams’ responsibilities—human resources, your company’s foundation, communications, or a dedicated CSR or sustainability team—so it’s essential to collaborate with different departments to maximise your impact.
We’ve found that buy-in from the following teams is particularly important:
- Company leadership to act as role models and engage their teams in the program.
- Human resources to create a framework for your company’s corporate giving and volunteering program.
- Internal communications to ensure clear and aligned communications with employees.
- IT for a smooth launch from a technical standpoint, such as compatibility, whitelisting.
- Legal to review data security and privacy requirements, or other legal concerns.
3. Engage key ambassadors
A great way to drive participation in your giving and volunteering program is with ambassadors from across your organisation. This is especially important if your company is spread across multiple offices.
Having a network of local ambassadors will help ensure that your program is adapted to the local culture, while remaining aligned with your overall CSR strategy. This will also save you time, as ambassadors can help you educate and answer any questions from employees. Be sure to train them before the launch, so they are equipped to support your program in the best way.
Look out for colleagues who are committed, passionate about the program, willing to promote it among other employees, and ready to collect feedback and ideas to improve the program. Let them know that this is a valuable growth opportunity to develop their leadership skills in a fun, meaningful way. You can set up an application system or reach out to team leaders to recommend high potential team members. These ambassadors will be a pillar of your program, treasure them!
4. Customise the platform
If you’ve opted for a digital platform, now’s the time to make it your own, to communicate the why behind your program, including inspirational stories or guidelines for your employees. Different solutions have different options for customization, from adding your logo to a complete white label solution for your company.
Depending on your company’s situation and strategy, you can activate (or deactivate) certain features from your selected corporate giving and volunteering platform. Some providers offer you the flexibility, for example, to start with field volunteering and expand into other forms of giving and volunteering as your programs grows. Or, you might already have charities that your company has collaborated with in the past. If they’re not already on the platform, these can be added to ensure continuity of your relationship.
Still deciding whether a digital platform is right for you? Find out why digitizing your CSR program is essential.
5. Plan your launch activities
Last but certainly not least, remember to communicate with your employees. This is an exciting time! Plan your launch activities to inform, educate, and engage your employees from day one. We’ve found that the following activities work well with our clients:
- Workshop to introduce the program, your objectives, along with fun activities to get your employees motivated to start contributing to your program.
- Video with leadership team and ambassadors to act as a teaser and get your employees excited about the launch.
- Company-wide donation whereby your employees vote for a cause and the company commits to donate a certain amount to it. Donation matching is a powerful lever here!
- Company-wide goods collection to start making an impact from the get-go, such as a collection of clothes at your offices during the launch.
Depending on your internal communication channels, you can also publish internal articles, send out launch emails, use digital signage, or create posters or flyers for your office.
It’s launch time
Congratulations! You’re ready to launch your program and start empowering your employees to change the world—go get ‘em!
If you want to take your corporate giving and employee volunteering program to the next level, start today by scheduling a demo of Alaya’s platform.
Or, if you’re still deciding whether a corporate giving and volunteering program is right for you, check out our resources to find out why millennials expect this from employers and subscribe to our newsletter for more insights and updates directly in your inbox (scroll down to subscribe)!