Today’s global and IT business challenges are forcing us to look for new solutions that will increase employee engagement and have a positive impact on communities. More and more business leaders recognise that they have a bigger responsibility for society rather than only relying on maximising profits.
Corporate Social Responsibility
There comes an idea of Corporate Social Responsibility that highlights the importance of business being responsible and sustainable regarding its surroundings. According to Harvard Business School, social responsibility encourages business leaders “to do what’s best not just for their companies, but also for people, the planet, and society.”
Each company may have a different understanding of social responsibility. Still, it can often be explained by a concept called Tripple Bottom Line, which covers commitment to measuring social and environmental impact and profit.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be typically broken down into four categories: environmental, philanthropic, ethical, and economical. Further in this article, I will be sharing my thoughts and experience around the philanthropic activities: volunteering in Kaunas Remand Prison with my colleagues from TeleSoftas.
Business benefits of volunteering
As 2017 Deloitte Volunteer Impact Research concluded, employees love when companies incorporate volunteering into the workplace, because it may boost morale and the workplace atmosphere.
Of the 1000 employees surveyed, the results indicated that 77 percent believe that volunteerism is essential to employee well-being, and 89 percent think that company-sponsored volunteer projects create a better working environment.
Key business benefits of volunteering:
- Increases employee engagement.
- Contributes to employee health.
- Having a higher purpose increases motivation.
- Helps develop soft skills.
- Contributes to attracting millennials.
- Boosts brand perception.
Volunteering in Kaunas Remand Prison
Volunteering is not something new here in TeleSoftas – employees get involved in environmental activities, taking care of elders, preventing youth suicide, and recently helping Ukrainian people stand against Russian aggression.
You may wonder – why someone would choose to volunteer in Remand Prison? It was a purely experimental and organic process that derived from a little group of motivated people who wanted to spend their free time on something meaningful. This experiment resulted in a concrete action plan, an actual volunteering project, and collaboration with the governmental institution.
I have to say – I had a wonderful experience volunteering in Kaunas Remand Prison together with colleagues from TeleSoftas! The project, which started almost six months ago, just came to its finish.
Every other week, on Saturdays, a group of five people exchanged visits to the detainees and conducted classes on self-knowledge, communication, and reintegration into the labour market.
I must say that I was positively surprised and amazed by the motivation of Kaunas Remand Prison officers and resocialisation specialists to help us organise our program and conduct our classes. Our experience shows that this kind of collaboration between businesses and non-profit organisations is needed to create a positive impact on society.
I am sure that the Kaunas Remand Prison volunteering program participants and we who led those sessions have gained valuable experience. Having this in mind, I want to encourage all businesses to discover this hidden treasure – volunteering.
1. Harward Business School Online, 2021. Types of corporate social responsibility to be aware of (https://online.hbs.edu/blog/post/types-of-corporate-social-responsibility).
2. Deloitte. Deloitte Volunteer Impact Research (https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/citizenship-deloitte-volunteer-impact-research.html).