Whether you’re seeking to bolster your company’s public image, or improve employee wellbeing, combining team building with corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the perfect way to show you really care.
You don’t need to be a FTSE 100 company to reap the employee satisfaction and PR rewards a solid CSR team building strategy can offer. A recent study by The Case Foundation has dubbed working-age millennials as the “giving generation”, its Millennial Impact Report indicating they are more likely to donate their time and money to charity than any other generation and value being part of a socially responsible company. Many studies further indicate that workers who stay loyal to their employees frequently cite job satisfaction as a primary factor in sticking around.
A great way to foster this job satisfaction with the next generation of employees in your business is to give back to your community, inviting your team to become part of that experience. Yet, investing in a cause your customers and employees don’t care for is like scoring an own goal. An honest examination of the core values of your brand can guide you towards a cause everyone can get behind. Simply opening the lines of communication to make a collective decision as to what issues matter to them, whether it’s climate change, mental health or child poverty, will promote a collaborative culture that brings employees together.
Not only will the venture benefit your chosen cause, but feed into positive outcomes for the health of your employees and the business. While team building exercises can often be met with a cynical reaction, activities aligned with a cause the whole team is passionate about will be more positively received, ensuring your team gets the most from the experience. Working towards a shared goal will bring employees closer on a personal level, building a sense of trust within the team that will filter into their business roles.
Your team don’t have to wade through a muddy obstacle course to help your chosen charity. By making the activity fun and inclusive, you’re more likely to increase staff morale, which holds huge benefits for productivity. Sharon Stacey is an experienced musical director, running vocal workshops with businesses across the UK, as a fun, accessible alternative to traditional team building activities. Sharon believes the power of the human voice is one of the most effective tools to boost wellness and connect people from different walks of life.
“Using music is one of those unique ways of engaging everybody in the office. It’s very physical, using the vibrations from within your own body – so as soon as you sing together with colleagues, it gets the serotonin levels up and that feel-good factor going.
“Whether it’s a weekly lunchtime workshop, or once a month after work, employers I’ve worked with have told me they’ve seen tangible benefits to the mental health and wellbeing of their team.”
In the run-up to Christmas, Sharon hosts carol singing workshops, preparing businesses for festive fundraiser concerts. She also helps them record their own Christmas albums, sold within the office and to friends and family to raise money for the company’s chosen charity. Sharon is able to be there on the big night to ensure the success of the event, providing professional accompaniment from a pianist to a five-piece band. Her sessions are focused on delivering a professional sound from participants with little or no experience of singing, in a way that’s fun and inclusive for all abilities.
“The beauty of these workshops is you don’t have to be Adele or Bon Jovi – everyone is in the same boat. Colleagues come out the other side feeling the exact same way, and I can guarantee they’ll be talking about it in the office for weeks to come. I’ve seen people walk in who are shy, skeptical, or just hate the idea of singing. Without fail, every single of one of them walks out absolutely loving life!”
For Sharon, bringing feel-good team building experiences together with a good cause is a no-brainer for enlightened businesses:
“I think it’s incredibly important that companies have CSR on their agenda. When you come out to do something with a purpose behind it, such as raising money for a charity, it’s just a win-win for everyone. Everybody will enjoy the process and by the end of it, not only will you feel physically good, but knowing that you’re helping people in need is just the icing on the cake.”
To find out more, visit Sharonstaceymusic.com.