On October 5, 2022, Curtis Hite, Conscious Capitalism Inc. board member and CEO of Improving, and Sandy Hermosillo, Director of Community Relations at Improving, talked to our Member Success Manager Quennie Potes about how to mobilize employees to work towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Improving is a multinational organization that supports a number of different community outreach initiatives in each of its locations. During this conversation Curtis and Sandy spoke about different ways to support community-driven impact initiatives and how to get started.
Here are three main takeaways on how to develop community initiatives that will excite employees.
Align Initiatives with the Team’s Interests
The first step in supporting community outreach is obviously selecting an initiative. “We are allowing [employees] to pick the topics they like the most and are more interested in and we get good participation,” Sandy shared. By allowing the employees to self-select initiatives that interest them, Improving is able to utilize the employees’ personal passions to make a difference. This leads to higher levels of engagement and satisfaction with community outreach events.
For a company like Improving that has offices in dozens of cities, employees’ passions can vary by location, but these differences should be celebrated and used to maximize employee engagement. What appeals to one office might not work in another location. That’s to be expected, so encourage local leadership to find what works for their team and find passionate voices to lead outreach. “Someone who wants a leadership opportunity locally, give them the opportunity to run an employee event,” Curtis suggested.
At Improving, the team focuses on a different Sustainable Development Goal each month. September, for example, featured Goal 2: Zero Hunger. Passionate members of the Improving team worked with local food banks and organizations that fight food insecurity by volunteering and donating food items.
Set Achievable Goals
Improving has been able to create tremendous impact across the three countries in which they operate. After Sandy detailed a number of specific events, Curtis shared an important reminder: “When you look at something like this it’s big and it’s complicated. Right now, yes, it’s big and it’s complex and we’re doing an awful lot, but it doesn’t have to be, and it doesn’t necessarily start this way.”
Choose something that your people are interested and set small goals and a pace that you can maintain.”Curtis Hite
Improving’s impact is significant in scope, but it is also a sizable organization that has been developing its outreach program for quite some time. If a business is just starting out, Curtis recommends starting small. “Choose something that your people are interested and set small goals and a pace that you can maintain,” he shared.
Track Feedback and Act Accordingly
After an event or initiative, be sure to solicit feedback from employees. Especially if an enthusiastic employee spearheads an effort, “See what event comes to fruition and how many people participate,” Curtis said. Participation levels are a good indication as to the success of an event, but more formal methods can be a great asset as well. Improving has built out an entire tracking system, but once again it might be best to start small. A simple survey will be able to help gauge the team’s overall impressions of the event.
Adjust future events accordingly depending on the opinions. Continuing projects that received positive feedback can create an environment that allows employees to pursue Higher Purpose. By measuring and reacting to this feedback Improving has been able to engage over half of their workforce in outreach initiatives in 2022.
A strong culture like this can also become a significant asset for the organization. “The future is in Conscious Capitalist businesses. It’s a competitive advantage for those companies that lean into these things while doing good for the world,” opined Curtis. Events like these can attract employees and become a point of distinction for conscious businesses.
Community events can have extraordinary impact, which is amplified when a team rallies around the cause. Start with something small and eventually your company’s impact can be as significant as Improving’s.
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