For today’s blog post I’d like to share with you an email I sent to our team recently.
I’ve had a recurring note in my tasks to “do some CSR” (corporate social responsibility), and I haven’t done a lot about it.
I keep looking at the task and moving it on by another week. It has come up again today, and I’ve been sat here thinking about why I’m so inert with it.
Having given it some thought, I realised it’s because to proactively have a “CSR programme” feels crass, contrived and phoney. To formalise our social responsibility policy would be to do it for all the wrong reasons, notably in a bid to alter the outside world’s perception of our business and employer brand.
No matter how important it is for the continued growth of our business to add more people to the team and no matter how badly I want to make the business look good that just isn’t congruent with me.
I’m a great believer that charity really should begin at home and so I want to re-emphasise the importance of the work that we do on a day to day basis for our clients and candidates and the responsibility that it contains in itself. We help our candidates find jobs that feed families.
We make career and life-changing moments happen on a day to day basis. If we do the job well as is my own experience we should get enormous social and personal satisfaction from doing that. We have every right to feel good about it.
In many respects that should be enough. We don’t have to clean homeless shelters and run marathons to truly contribute to society whilst at work, we just have to care, really care about the work we do, and it impacts on the people we do it for.
When we pull the car over to take a call on a Friday night from a distraught candidate in the midst of a crushing divorce and just let the guy talk until his mind is clear and help him with his CV, then that’s CSR in itself. When we genuinely feel disappointed that a hire didn’t work out for a client and work with passion and energy to make it right for the client then that in my book is CSR.
Being present is CSR. Being professional and getting an early night because you have a big day tomorrow and consciously want to give your best for your clients and candidates is CSR.
So there won’t be formal “organised” CSR at Inward Revenue and the task has gone out of my planning system. I won’t be reminding you all that it’s “Movember” or buying a team entry to some corporate outdoor challenge where you all turn up pretending that you love it when really you’d rather be home in front of the TV. We’re going to continue to financially support NSPCC via the referral scheme because that’s a charity that I care about being a parent but equally, I recognise that not all of you are.
So if passionately caring for your client’s businesses and for the careers of your candidates fails to satiate your need for contribution then you have our support in whatever way we can give it to you to come up with your own ideas and passions. If charity isn’t your thing or contribution isn’t your thing, then we aren’t going to impose it on you just be aware that minimum social responsibility starts with caring about the clients and candidates careers.
I don’t know if any of you noticed that Mike went to a meeting with a local inner-city school the other day to volunteer as a school governor. I myself have also held such a position recently and am currently looking for a new opportunity to contribute to society at a wider level and yes I might promote those causes via the blog and our companies media channels, but I don’t intend to promote the company via that promotion.
I wanted to write to you all today to encourage you to find your own path in the way that you contribute to society and follow mikes inspiring example. We aren’t going to have a formal “CSR programme”. There won’t be a chapter in the operations manual called “how to be a decent member of society”. I just want you to know that if you want to contribute to the wider community a bit more the business will support you as best as we can and we’ll find a way of ensuring that you can make your commitments to contribution stick.