5 Steps to CSR Employee Activation, Even with a Small Team

Jan 25, 2023

You might have a small team, but your company has a global footprint, or hundreds within a region. While your teammates can’t be everywhere at once, you want your employee activation program to grow and touch as many employees as are interested.

How can you ensure they all know about your programs and how to get involved — especially in this hybrid and remote working world?

Here are five ways to make your employee activation program successful

Create a Communications Plan

A solid communications plan will help you regularly reach as many employees as possible. Partner with your internal communications department, if your company has one, and find the right communication vehicles with the best reach.

Create a steady drumbeat of information. Don’t rely on emails alone. Host informational webinars to educate, especially if you have a large remote workforce. Talk to your HR department about mailing information home (alone or with other HR-related info) and weave messaging into company-wide or departmental meetings.

Utilize Employee Leadership Opportunities

Look for opportunities to let your employees lead in order to scale your programs throughout your company’s footprint. This includes individual volunteer leaders or volunteer committees. The benefits of this approach are helping you scale, managing your program from afar, utilizing knowledge from specific departments or markets where employees are closer and have a better understanding of the local customs and community needs.

Of course, these roles are also great leadership opportunities and allow those selected to hone skills and competencies. And this doesn’t just apply to volunteering. You can use this model for workplace giving campaigns, encouraging voter registration/education/participation and more. Provide these selected employees and councils with education and training, as well as resources and recognition for their efforts.

Integrate CSR within the Business

Merge the company’s social impact work throughout other functions of the business, for optimal employee activation. Doing so drives awareness and potentially garners more advocates.

The Civic 50 report from 2022 tells us that 100% of honorees are integrating with Diversity & Inclusion, 96% with Employee Engagement, and tied at 80% are Health & Wellness, Marketing/PR and Purchasing. How can you integrate with these groups, as well as your employee resource groups (ERGs)? These existing structures may be valuable resources that you as a CSR leader can tap into.

Use Technology

Find an online platform that best suits your needs and ensure employees are familiar with what’s on the platform, how to use it and whether they are able to post partner information or projects that are close to their hearts. There are great surveys of these technology platforms, like “The Corporate Volunteering, Giving and Grants Technology Review,” produced by the RW Institute and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Foundation For The Carolinas and E4E Relief.

This review is designed to provide critical insights to program managers and decision makers investing in volunteering, giving and grants technology. The review is unique for the industry and offers CSR professionals with a comprehensive overview of 60+ platforms from around the world.

Partner with Experts

“The best social impact partnerships go beyond a single event or initiative. They evolve over time as progress is made and new collaborative vision forms. Whenever possible, form partnerships that are intended to go the distance – a year or more – to allow space and time for thoughtful design and deep impact.”

— Katie Stearns, chief global corporate solutions officer, Points of Light

Whether it be for certain events, during certain times of the year or year-round, working with a knowledgeable and experienced partner can help you to more effectively strategize, lead your team, execute events with success and realize the outcomes you desire for your employee engagement program.

Outsourcing to an external partner like Points of Light’s Corporate Services Solutions can also help you employ loaned executives to increase the size and reach of your small team.

Katy Elder
Vice President of Corporate Insights, Points of Light

Spending 20 years in the corporate social responsibility sector, Katy mixes creativity and strategy with expertise in employee engagement and corporate citizenship to develop resources and learning opportunities that advance corporate social impact.