The festive season fast approaches and for the lucky ones, with it comes the end of year Christmas bonus and extravagant office party.
However, when reflecting on a year of candy-cane corporate success, it is imperative that companies and employees pause to consider those less fortunate and the impact that those profits had on the community and environment. If the next sip of champagne does not taste so sweet, perhaps change is needed to be made by employee and employer alike.
Would you be willing to forego a portion of your bonus or party feast, and instead offer time towards a volunteer cause?
A movement of philanthropy has taken a hold of a rising number of CEOs as shown in Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge campaign, where leaders are encouraged to give away over half their wealth.
It is not just the big names in business who take to giving over gain. The rise of the ethically-conscious millennial generation through the workforce has seen a trend towards greater satisfaction via volunteer contributions rather than monetary gain or job security.
In a report published earlier this year by Global Tolerance, over two thirds of those surveyed were of the opinion that corporations, governments and NGOs all need to deliver further on social and environmental sustainability goals. Furthermore, the survey showed that 53% of employees would work harder if they believed they were making a difference in the lives of others.
With this kind of pressure to keep employees satisfied and staff turnover to a minimum, the wise employer is listening carefully. In turn, this means the eager employee should voice their request in order to be heard.
While many companies have taken the first step to offer a day of volunteering per year, the value of ongoing volunteer programs should not be overlooked. A company needs a healthy workforce and CSR initiatives should not be seen as detrimental to workforce growth. On the contrary, the new skills, experiences and connections to the community developed on volunteer projects, provide employees with greater satisfaction and a positive effect on their work.
The pressure for CSR implementation comes too from other global players. In September this year, the United Nations released the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim for certain economic, social and environmental improvements globally over the next 15 years. Companies are expected to contribute heavily, as they are considered the largest benefiters in society.
Where to volunteer?
With an abundance of programs at the ready to connect corporate to charity, the festive season of giving is a step away from full swing. Are you ready to wrap a portion of your time and effort and give it to a greater cause?
The influx of refugees to cities such as Berlin means there are plenty of opportunities to contribute acts of goodwill. Crafting and playing with refugees is a fun and interactive Visioneer initiative that adds color to an otherwise grey season. Similarly, taking a small group of refugees sightseeing to see the sites of Berlin lit up and surrounded by Christmas markets also makes for a heart and toe warming activity.
The companies wayfair, ebay and zalando set a good example, giving their employees of their Berlin Offices the opportunity to dedicate a paid working day to a social cause. In the past months, several employees have been supporting VISIONEERS as Corporate Volunteers: