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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

HeavyTorque Issue Five: Corporate Social Responsibility

IN THE FIRST WORLD, AND THE THIRD. IN OURS…

IN THE LAST ISSUE WE INTRODUCED YOU TO OUR FRIENDS AT BUSINESS IN THE COMMUNITY (BITC), AND HEARD FROM CHRIS LEECH MBE. CHRIS IS BITC’S LEAD CORPORATE ADVISOR IN THE TRANSPORT SECTOR: HE GAVE US A RUN DOWN ON WHAT CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR) ACTUALLY MEANS – AND ITS IMPLICATIONS TO OUR INDUSTRY.

Issue 4’s CSR article ‘What is CSR and what does it mean to our industry?’ covered all the basics of responsible business activity. Chris gave us an insight into everything BITC initiates in the Transport Sector – from their responsible business network, through to the collaborative work they are undertaking with the Department for Transport and HS2. Chris also introduced ‘The Earl Atlee Award’ – our flagship CSR award for The Heavies in 2016, where we hope to see applications from you about the great work you are already doing.

His article then explored employment for ex-offenders and those living in hostels. In this issue we are going to delve into an area of CSR that most of us do – without even realising that it is CSR. Fundraising; donating to charity; sponsoring local events; bake sales; dress-down days for charity. Any of these sound familiar? Chances are most of these happen in our businesses at least once a year, if not on much more regularly.

It’s no great secret. Create a working environment where people raise money for good causes, and they feel more engaged. They enjoy their work that little bit more; they are more positive about where they work. Real benefits come from an engaged workforce. Many of us do not make the connection between employee engagement and the charity sector.

ORGANISATIONS WITH LOW ENGAGEMENT LEVELS IN THEIR WORKFORCE SHOW:

• 31-51% more employee turnover

• 51% more inventory shrinkage

• 62% more accidents

ORGANISATIONS WITH HIGHER ENGAGEMENT LEVELS IN THEIR WORKFORCE SHOW:

• 12% higher customer advocacy

• 18% higher productivity

• 12% higher profitability

Average annual employee-absence levels: Engaged, 2.69 days per employee versus Disengaged, 6.19 days per employee. (Source: Gallup, 2006)

A strategic CSR approach to charity-sector involvement in your business can prove highly fruitful for you – and your chosen good cause. Any charity worth its salt will want to establish meaningful relationships with business. This is particularly true of those smaller ones operating on your doorstep or specialising in your sector. Not only can they raise funds via your organisation but they will also have a ready-made audience to increase awareness. Charities are passionate about what they do. They can bring that passion into your workplace, and get your people involved and passionate too.

A little time invested in selecting your chosen good cause (and the activities you plan to work on together) will energise and engage your employees.

Earlier we mentioned the new CSR award –‘The Earl Atlee Award’– for The Heavies 2016. Not only do we look forward to learning about all our members’ great CSR work – ‘talk the talk’ – we also plan to walk the walk. This year’s Heavies will help to raise money for Transaid. An international development charity, Transaid identifies, champions, implements, and shares local transport solutions – to improve access to basic services and economic opportunity for people in Africa and in developing countries.

To give you an insight into just how effective business relationships can be for charities, we invited Transaid’s Head of Marketing and Communication, Aggie Krasnolucka-Hickman, to have a chat with us. Aggie helped us picture responsible business activity in action – by telling us about the businesses they are already working with, and the benefits that are there for the taking.

Firstly, Aggie told us a little bit about Transaid, and what they are working on right now..

THE HISTORY

“Transaid was founded by Save the Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK). It works by sharing skills and knowledge with local people: to enable them to put in place and manage efficient transport-systems.

“Transaid’s core work includes creating transport-management systems for the public sector; assisting with the provision of professional-driving qualification development; and the training of driver-trainers. We also assist with teaching preventive vehicle-maintenance management, and introducing local, low cost transport solutions – including our innovative bicycle ambulance. Transaid also helps promote road-safety awareness, sharing our specialist knowledge to build sustainable solutions.

“We enjoy strong backing from the transport and logistics industry, and the active involvement of our patron, HRH The Princess Royal. Close links with our Corporate Members enables us to do the work we value so greatly in developing countries. This flagship membership scheme is just one of the ways businesses engage with us. We know that every company has its own strategic objectives – its audiences and vision for the future – so we work with them: developing initiatives that work for the company, engage and inspire their employees, and have a positive impact on business strategies.

“Members have the exclusive opportunity to become directly involved in Transaid’s projects. They benefit from volunteering and brand engagement opportunities. Partnering with Transaid means joining a group of companies that are leaders not just in their individual sectors but also across the industry as a whole. Our partners include DAF, IVECO, MAN, The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Michelin, Jaguar Land Rover, Malcolm Group, Eddie Stobart, Volvo, to name but a few.

WORKING WITH OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

“Developing our offer to the business world was key. It not only delivered a strategic relationship – aligned with the individual business’ objectives – but also delivered tangible benefits to our cause. We have developed programmes that focus on three areas: Access to healthcare; Access to livelihood; and Road safety. Road safety is what we are now known best for within the transport and logistics industry. Our corporate members are huge supporters of this programme. Without them we could not deliver the skills needed to tackle road safety issues in developing countries.

WHAT WE DO TOGETHER

“Partnering with our corporate members and training centres in Africa, we provide professional training to drivers. We not only provide training, but we also share best practice from the UK industry. Our corporate partners give secondment opportunities for their employees.

“These employees travel overseas to train driver-trainers. Continuous learning is passed onto drivers, via the training centres. We have seen some incredible success stories from secondment opportunities. Skills have been passed on, and the individual employee has had a life-changing experience. This experience benefits the business: their employee goes on a journey of personal and professional development. Employees return from these secondment opportunities and report feeling excited, appreciative, and extremely motivated when they return to work.

“Some of our partners have completely embedded working with us: they now offer secondment opportunities as part of their graduate programme. We know that there are issues in attracting young people – and women – to the transport and logistics industry. We hope that an exciting project like ours will play a small part in attracting young and female talent to this industry.”
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To learn more about the work we do, in particular the story of Chris Hill, Senior Driver Trainer for HOYER Petrolog Esso Fuels Contract, head to You Tube. Watch our video ‘Transaid Professional Driver Trainer in Tanzania on YouTube; or read the blog of Graduate Anna Chaplin, who is the XPO Logistics fourth graduate to undertake our secondment programme http://projecttanzania2015.weebly.com/about.html

APPLYING THE LESSONS

On behalf of all our HeavyTorque readers we would like to thank Aggie for her time. These are great examples of a charity working with business to deliver employee engagement. And there are huge numbers
of charities out there – all with great causes, all looking for opportunities to develop and grow. Our business community has a responsibility to work with these organisations. The vast majority of us are already doing it. Ask yourself this question: Would you enter into any other business partnership without aligning your strategies and objectives? There is nothing wrong with having the same approach in your relationships with the non-profit sector. In fact, you will find that – with some added strategy, alignment of objectives, agreed deliverables, and some goals to aim for – you will both get so much more from the relationship.

Business in the Community has long promoted the benefits of business working strategically with the non-profit sector. To help those at the start of this journey, Chris Leech, has provided us with a ‘Top Tips’ toolbox to share with you:

• Agree internally which category of Charitable-giving aligns to your overall business strategy for the year ahead. This will ensure your organisation is in a position to say ‘No’ as well as ‘Yes’ to charities that approach your business.

• Create a shortlist of charities which align to your business, and ask the charity to present a vision of how they will work with you to achieve best results for both parties.

• Agree opportunities to promote collaborations throughout the year. This will ensure you can maximise the brand-alignment, which in turn will raise more interest and funds for the charity.

• If you decide to support small local charities, ask them if they would benefit from your business advice rather than financial donations? Mentoring smaller charities in financial book-keeping, marketing, and communications or IT can add considerably more long-term value than a cheque at the end of a year.

• Finally, whatever you do always remember your involvement is changing the lives of others, so take pride in your collaboration and utilise every opportunity to communicate your endeavours.