How to Celebrate Earth Day
By Ryan McCarty, Director of Community and Employee Engagement, TCC
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs are practically a given at most companies these days, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all companies are doing good in a meaningful and genuine way. It’s pretty easy to sign a check and call it a good deed, but for many businesses, their philanthropic initiatives are really nothing more than a marketing ploy, and a poorly executed one at that.
To truly excite employees about giving back to the community this Earth Day, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Find out who works for you
Before you can determine what charitable initiatives make sense for your business, you first need to determine who makes up your employee base. What percentage of employees are male versus female? What age groups are your employees in? This will help to determine what causes make the most sense for your organization to support.
At TCC, we found that 85 percent of our employees are millennials. Once we uncovered that important statistic, we moved to the next step.
Step 2: Find out what your employees care about
Next, uncover what your employees’ interests and passions are outside of the office. This can be accomplished through a quick survey and doesn’t have to require a lot of anyone’s time. Do your employees believe most in supporting causes that benefit kids and animals? Or, would they rather spend their time delivering meals to the homeless? There’s also a lot of research out there to show what causes are most important to various demographics.
A recent study reported that 70 percent of millennials say a company’s commitment to its local community would influence their decision to work there. That led us to focus on serving the local communities in which we do business through our Culture of Good program.
Step 3: Partner with causes your employees believe in
Once you know what is important to your employees, you can partner with programs that mean the most to them. We found that our employees not only want to help out their local communities, but they want to get their hands dirty in the process.
From April 1-June 30, 500 participating TCC stores across the nation are each receiving $200 to spend on purchasing supplies that will help them improve the environment in their local communities through our “Heal the World” campaign. With the materials, TCC is participating in various volunteer efforts to benefit the planet, including planting gardens or trees, growing fresh flowers, constructing bird feeders for public places, adopting highways, hosting recycling fairs and more.
Step 4: Make it annual
Don’t let the good end with a one-and-done effort. Find a way for your employees to give back all year long and once you find an initiative that your employees are passionate about, keep on giving. Our “Heal the World” program is now in its second year, and when April comes around each year, we find a way to make it bigger and better than the last year.
This Earth Day, all businesses should take part in activities that will benefit our planet. As a team, get out of the office and get dirty planting a tree in the neighborhood or cleaning the community park. If a day off is too spontaneous, then practice sustainable initiatives inside the office such as using less paper, turning out the lights when you leave the bathroom, carpooling to lunch for the day, recycling products (if you don’t already) and even taking 10 minutes to discover long-term plans of how your company can be even greener.
Although making eco-friendly choices might be tough, every small effort can help. Earth Day is a time to celebrate Mother Nature and find ways to improve the world around us. Not only will your company morale boost, but your employees will be happy knowing they are working for a team that truly cares about improving their local environment.