Culture. Clarity. Core Values.
They’re considered to be the trifecta of successful companies. Recruiters rave about them, corporate wellness programs highlight them, and business owners seek them. Add the word “connection,” and companies are a force for good, connecting solutions to missions. As these four ‘Cs’ gain attention and traction, how can companies stake their claim and get their teams on board with putting values into action and being a force for good?
The United Nations annually recognizes August 12 as International Youth Day, when we celebrate the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society and recognize the challenges and problems that they face. The 2019 theme Transforming Education is rooted in a goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “…ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” Today is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and support youth by partnering with organizations that further their education and transform their lives, or by taking the first step in cultivating a company with core values that guide giving and volunteering.
What can your company do to take action on building a culture of purpose and helping youth?
Develop core values to drive a transformational company culture
In an environment of constant change, core values can help guide your company to do well while doing good. Povaddo research found that, despite a company’s commitment to corporate philanthropy and employee volunteerism directly influencing their workforce, many companies haven’t sought to align corporate giving with values important to their teams. With four in ten employees saying a company’s giving commitment impacts employment decisions, having strong core values is a differentiator in a competitive talent marketplace.
Your company values have to be real and connected to daily work to be meaningful and remembered. One way to connect your values to the day-to-day is with a V2MOM, or Vision, Values, Metrics, Obstacles, and Measures document (learn how to create a V2MOM here). If you don’t yet have a formal giving and volunteering program, why not organize a volunteer event focused on youth development for International Youth Day? Salesforce.org offers five tips on how to run a great volunteer event.
Identify partner organizations consistent with your company’s mission
To give back effectively, identify organizations that are consistent with your corporate mission, vision, and shared values. For example, Candoris core purpose and values support a mission-focused goal of supplying children around the world with modern medicine, education, and clean water, partnering with organizations like Love & Grace Ministries-Haiti, CURE International, Living Water International, and Samaritan’s Purse. Salesforce makes investments in STEM education for opportunity youth, provides internships with workforce development nonprofits such as Year Up and Genesys Works, and gives youth the chance to attend Dreamforce and build their networking skills with an event called Future Executive Summit.
When considering how to develop partnerships, such as for youth development, consider:
- Connection: what connections do you already have to organizations consistent with your mission? Look at pre-existing relationship with customers, vendors, partners, employees, and local community organizations.
- Alignment: there are endless opportunities for partnering with nonprofits that impact the lives of youth, but which ones directly relate to your core values and mission? Your employees participate in your mission, and their buy-in is important.
- Geography: is your goal to have a local or global giving footprint, or both?
Empower staff to volunteer
Companies can drive volunteering in various ways. The first is by creating team volunteering events, whether it’s an annual occasion in conjunction with a company-wide meeting or scouting out upcoming local opportunities to distribute to the team to encourage sign-ups. The second, which is popular among corporate employees, is offering paid volunteer time off (VTO). Make sure that senior leaders take volunteer time off, too, if you offer this perk. Staff can use their VTO to effect change in accordance with personal interests and talents while furthering the corporate charitable giving mission. This not only meets important community needs in various ways, but presents individuals with an opportunity for personal growth and perspective development.
Communicate your giving and volunteering
Inviting your team and your customers into your giving story fosters a trusted relationship beyond happy hour. To communicate about your giving and volunteering work, here are a few ideas:
- Create and utilize a hashtag on social, such as Candoris’ #becauseofyou, with each philanthropic partnership story. This recognizes and appreciates customers for their business that enables your charitable giving.
- Engage your team and report on what was delivered through philanthropic giving and volunteering. Through facilitating giving updates and team blog articles on volunteer time off, you can weave individuals into the story of how they personally provide homes, medical care, food, water, and schools to youth and community members. People want to belong, and showing how they contributed to changing the world for the better is powerful. This also provides transparency on what you did and what impact it had.
- Showcase core values and giving throughout office locations to keep them top of mind and real to your team and visitors. Gadgets like coasters or pens, statement pieces like wall plaques or murals, and inscribed coffee mugs all present opportunities to bring corporate missions to life.
From one day of volunteering to a culture of purpose
International Youth Day is just one opportunity to give back with youth as a focus. But giving and volunteering shouldn’t just occur on one day a year. What’s the heart of your company? What’s your mission? Defining and upholding core values will ensure that your culture can be a force for good, which attracts top talent and top customers. It all begins with the vision of a better world that you don’t just believe in – but can see and can help make happen.
Originally published on Salesforce.org