Here in the One Beyond blog, we often talk about ways to improve the way you do business, typically from a technology or process perspective. But in this post we want to highlight an aspect of business management which many organisations tend to overlook – but which can make a huge difference to the lives of your employees as well as your community.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be interpreted in different ways, but it is effectively a platform for organisations to engage in activities that support causes outside of their own business. It often includes a programme or project that lets the business and its employees get involved in social or environmental projects that help the wider community.

Why does CSR matter?

As businesses, our main objectives typically include growth, making a profit, and creating stakeholder value. However, we all know that there’s more to life than just making money. We are all human beings who also care about issues outside of the balance sheet. By using CSR as a crossover point, we can allow our financial success to be combined with the success of issues that matter to us.

This helps us to stay connected to the communities where we operate – and gives employees a sense of fulfilment.

Why we do it

Here at One Beyond, Emily Thompson is Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. She is dedicated to connecting the business to the local community and supporting various positive initiatives.

“We wanted to do something really good as a business,” Emily explains. “For us, Corporate Social Responsibility is a vehicle for creating purpose and engagement, so we wanted to find ways to make a charity connection with our employees and use that to contribute to a positive social impact.”

Choosing the right cause

Once you decide to get involved in CSR, you need to select which cause to support and how to do it. For us at One Beyond, it was important to choose the right charity and ensure it was one that employees were happy to get behind. All staff members were encouraged to nominate their favourite charities, and then vote on which one should be the official One Beyond cause.

The nominations included IT Schools Africa, UNICEF, Mind, Greyhound Lifeline, and Code First: Girls.

“This year, our votes landed on Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, which is a wonderful hospice care service for adults here in West Surrey and North East Hampshire. They do an amazing job supporting patients with terminal illnesses and their families. This is something many of us care deeply about and we’re very happy to be able to play a part in supporting their important work.”

Making a difference through contributions

Throughout the year, One Beyond will be contributing to Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice by arranging regular activity days and fundraising events. This is something that not only benefits the charity, but helps bring the various business teams together and getting to know each other within the company.

“We didn’t want to do cheap PR stunts,” Emily explains. “We wanted to focus on one charity per financial year and create a real partnership with them. It helps give us purpose as a business and makes everyone feel more fulfilled as they can contribute to something meaningful. And the fact that we have fun while helping them is a nice bonus!”

Give a day of your time

In addition to One Beyond’ss fundraising, sponsorships and team building events, we also give each employee the opportunity to donate one day of their time every year to go and volunteer for a charitable cause. As the business grows, this will allow us to give more time and attention to a wide range of different initiatives that our people want to support.

What can your business do?

Corporate Social Responsibility firmly puts the focus back on your people and on what matters to them. You may work with machines and technology all day, but the business would be nothing without the people who make it happen. Having a social focus gives you as a business the opportunity to combine charity work with team building and fun, and that’s good for business as well as for the community around you.

Why not give it a try?