Charity starts at work

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about 1 year ago by Sophie Stones

Charity starts at work

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The way we interact at work has been redefined for a while now. Gone are the awkward conversations at the watercooler, to be replaced by friendly games at the ping pong table. And in a world where we’re more likely to spend our down-time with people from work than people from uni, it’s important that the relationships we form are solid. Amongst the pool tables and trips to the local bowling alley, there’s been a surge in the importance placed upon the altruism of our company’s. Now you’ll find corporate responsibility nestled within the benefits section of any careers site and, particularly with millennials, affiliation with charities is a driving force behind employee retention. 

In fact, a study, by Horizon Medias Finger on the Pulse, found that over 80% of those aged between 18 and 35 expect companies to make a public commitment to good corporate citizenship. Meaning that those of us not affiliated with any charity are possibly missing out on key candidates. 

Over the past few years, there’s been a shift in company’s looking inward, to them offering a helping hand outwards… But what if we can do both? Moving away from the traditional bake sale model and into the unknown, charity events are slowly but surely getting bigger and more Instagram-worthy. And whilst small events are still worthy of our time (At Goodman Masson, we still ‘dress down and donate’ every month, meaning our staff can nominate charities close to their hearts), these bigger events are affecting the workplace in a multitude of ways. 

Allowing our employees to gain a life-changing experience whilst also contributing to a fundraising event, companies like Charity Challenge are offering businesses the chance to make a real difference. And with the corporate side growing faster than those taking solo trips, it seems more of us than ever are taking them up on their offer. From 24 peaks in 24 hours to 16 days crossing the North Pole, these charity trials are an offer to do something completely new, no matter the time or money. 

When our kid’s schools are taking trips to Ghana and Nepal, why aren’t we implementing the same expeditions at work? A returning customer, we’re taking on the terrain of Madagascar this year, an event which will help to solidify bonds between staff members, increase employee engagement, but most importantly raise a hell of a lot of money for Great Ormond Street charity. Counting ourselves among companies like Saatchi & Saatchi and Reuters, who say “The network building was the best I have seen during my 18 years at Reuters. No other challenge provides such powerful results whilst making a positive difference”, the development of team relationships through charity events is clear. 

The perks of these trips aren’t just limited to the great opportunities to raise money and raise moral, with the business benefiting immensely from the image it projects. Generating great social media content, in a world where engaging with keyboard warriors is a necessity, posts regarding your trip will have a reach as long as your trek. More of a movement than simply a holiday, as employers we can be making a difference to the lives of those around us, and so, we should be helping our employees to make the most of their experiences. Whether the budget extends to paying off the full amount or simply allowing a monthly repayment system, our staff should be focused on how much money they can raise for charity, not how they’re going to raise money for their flight. After all, when it comes to these excursions, it really is better if we’re all in it together. Photo courtesy of Charity Challenge featuring a a trek to Machu Picchu