By Doug Moorhouse
Each generation brings a different set of ideals and expectations to the culture as a whole. And from shopping habits to workplace environments, one of the biggest shifts to come in recent years is around corporate social responsibility (CSR), and how it relates to incentive travel.
Corporate social responsibility is a term open to some interpretation, but at its heart it’s about business actions that serve some social good and go beyond just the organization’s bottom line. You might have heard terms like corporate conscience, corporate citizenship, or responsible business; all of these refer to a business that takes ownership of its effects on both environmental and social wellbeing.
As a contemporary business imperative, CSR is reflective of generational values. As Huffington Post interviewee Andrew Miller says, “Having a positive social purpose and a core message that resonates with your audience can be the key business differentiator.” Adding a CSR component to your incentive program can help drive that message home
The expectation that companies should and will invest in corporate social responsibility shows no sign of slowing. While it might seem that CSR is something that only large companies with plenty of resources can invest in, there are ways for businesses of all sizes to implement CSR into their overall brand strategy.
Integration Into Existing Incentive Travel Programs
Take your existing incentive travel program and weave in corporate social responsibility elements. It can be optional or part of a larger team-building initiative, but sometimes it’s easier to modify an existing program than to build something from the ground up.
National Day of Service
Choose a day and designate it as a company-wide service day. Many organizations select commemorative days, like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or Earth Day. Reach out to a local charity and allow them to help craft the volunteer experience. Encourage employees to participate by making the process easy. Provide transportation, share plenty of communication, host a post-experience event, and more. Refer back to the day throughout the year as well to truly ingrain it as something to look forward to.
Design a User or Client Conference
Creating a meaningful experience for your industry is a great way to get the ball rolling in corporate social responsibility. Whether you host your event for customers, clients or workers, it’s a great way to introduce the ideas around CSR to a wide audience while choosing your lineup of sessions around a theme.
Team Building Event
Let’s be honest: your employees might not be super psyched for another escape room or bowling alley outing. Team building can serve as a volunteer experience, too. Take your budget and time and consider taking employees on a service-learning trip courtesy of your organization. As you build bonds between your team members, you will also have a direct, positive impact on the global community.
How Does CSR Align With Your Brand Strategy?
There’s no sign of slowing down when it comes to moving forward on corporate social responsibility initiatives. When it comes to planning corporate social responsibility events and incentive travel, remember that it’s not the size of the company that matters; it’s your effort and passion for the service you provide.
For examples of how companies have integrated CSR into their award-winning incentive travel programs, check out the following Crystal Awards Case Studies:
About Doug Moorhouse:
Doug Moorhouse is Director of Marketing and Business Development for Carrousel Travel , a global, full service travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. Doug also serves on the SITE Minnesota Board as Vice-President of Events.