It’s probably no surprise to hear that a growing number of consumers want to buy from brands committed to environmental or social good, according to research by Unilever.
But more and more employees also want to work for companies that actively demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) too.
This is especially true of so called ‘millennials’ (those of us born between 1981 and 1996), who are forecast to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025.
Millennials want to make a positive contribution
Indeed, a survey by the PR firm Cone Communications found that 76% of millennials look at a company's social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work. And 64% won't take a job if a potential employer doesn't have strong CSR practices.
Once in situ, 88% say their job is more fulfilling when they are provided with opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues.
At npower Business Solutions, our job is to sell gas and electricity – and the services that make managing those energy sources as efficient as possible.
Our business model is unusual in that we actively encourage and support our customers to use less of the actual product we sell.
So it’s satisfying to be engaged in activities that help companies to save energy and become more resource efficient
But we also get huge satisfaction from having the opportunity to be involved with our local Ronald McDonald House (RMH) here in Birmingham.
Supporting local family charity
This amazing charity provides support and free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for the families of sick children who have to travel for specialist medical treatment.
Rather than having to go through the stress, expense and logistical challenges of travelling back and forth to support their child in hospital, families can be referred to stay at one of 11 Ronald McDonald Houses located near to each of the main UK children’s hospital.
The facilities are amazing, with comfortable bedrooms for the family members who need to be there (in some cases, whole families stay), kitchen facilities so meals can be cooked, lounges with a huge range of age-appropriate activities for children and teenagers, laundries – indeed everything you’d have on hand at home.
There’s also the warmth and support of the core group of volunteers who staff these houses, to provide help and care where it’s needed.
Staff from our Midlands-based offices also get involved, arranging volunteer days at the Birmingham House to do ad hoc jobs like decorating, cleaning, making tea and helping out at events such as Pancake Day or a Halloween Party.
These opportunities allow us to see first-hand the dedication of the staff and the difference they make to families in their hour of need.
In addition, we sponsor and support with organisational requirements for the annual RMH Birmingham Gala Dinner.
We also work closely with the wider McDonalds’ franchisee community, for example, by supporting high-profile cricket events. And we hope to help with similar events in the future.
Having the space to contribute in this way during our working life provides a wonderful extra sense of satisfaction and purpose.
“Our relationship with npower is well-established and has had a significant impact on our families through the years, not only through their headline sponsorship of our Gala Dinner, but also through their volunteering in our Birmingham House and general support in the community. We are truly grateful and hope to see this relationship continue long in to the future.” Says Kerri Richards, Challenge Events Officer at Ronald McDonald House Charities.
So if your business or employees are looking for a really worthwhile charity to support – and a way to demonstrate corporate social responsibility in action and keep your millennials engaged – we’d really recommend your contacting your local Ronald McDonald House.
See rmhc.org.uk to find out more.