Heart of the City’s new Director, Sarah Mitchell reflects on our recent Hands Up! Recruiting and Engaging your Responsible Business Champions workshop and shares some of the key points she took away from our speakers.
‘Many Heart of the City members are passionate about responsible business but all too often they are a team of one, or at least a lonely voice within their company. Even for those working within an established CSR team, our Hands Up! workshop had lots of tips for refreshing and reinvigorating responsible business programmes – and for sharing out the workload.
TimeInc’s Jane Mortimore shared her personal tips for engaging senior people in a company. This included getting supportive quotes and testimonials from senior people to help get others involved and sharing positive stories. Jane also encouraged us to get competitive: introducing an element of competition between teams or departments as a great way to get senior leaders engaged to support their team to win.
Nadia Al Yafai from Royal London shared her experience of creating a CSR movement in a new role, bringing CSR single-handedly to a multi-site company. What had worked for Nadia was aiming to create a movement rather than a list of tasks – involving volunteers in deciding what they wanted to achieve and then breaking this down into tasks for each volunteer to lead on. Nadia also suggested some incentives to pique interest from champions from a range of levels within the company.
Speaking the language of your business was the overriding message from Given London’s Becky Willan. Becky drew on her experience of advising major corporates on their CSR strategy to suggest some practical and radical ways forward for smaller companies to get staff buy-in. Becky showed us how including staff and customers in a co-creation process really pays off, not only in developing good practical solutions but also in setting up broad buy-in from the staff from the start.
The table discussions facilitated by our KPMG volunteers also provided some great ideas for engaging staff as our members shared their struggles and what had worked well for them.’
Related Article – CSR Views: Q&A with Micheale Hawkins