by Grace Yoh
Many SMEs in Singapore are slow to embrace Corporate Social Responsibility. This might be due to
- the perceived high cost involved in engaging in such event. Should it be done during working hours? How much planning and capital do I need to invest in it?
- the management might also be concerned about how staff would respond to such an event especially if it has never been done before.
I was doing some research about corporate volunteerism and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Singapore has a relatively strong volunteering culture. In a fairly developed country like Singapore, many would like to engage in activities that give them intrinsic value.
The common corporate culture is too often a number game. The sales staff are constantly monitoring if they hit their targeted sales amount this quarter. The accounts staff are monitoring on their accounts balance and chasing after companies who have yet to submit their payment this month. The production staff are ensuring that they manage to hit the required output as required by customers. Perhaps, it is too often that we see our colleagues as workers and numbers producing agent that we forgot that there might be a soft side to each and every one.
So what are the benefits of engaging in CSR?
- As a branding strategy for the image of the company. Employees are looking for compassionate employers who care about the welfare of the people. Customers are also looking for ethical vendors and engaging in CSR will definitely add value to the image of the company.
- As a form of team/company bonding. Through some CSR activities, we might discover certain talent of our employees we never knew they have in the workplace setting. This would make us appreciate and know our colleagues better.
There are so many social causes which require our assistance. Which organization should I partner with?
- It is advisable to look at the organizations which best meet the image of the organization. If your company manufacture pet food, volunteering at organizations like Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals (SPCA) or the Wildlife Reserve Singapore (WRS) would be a good choice.
- You can also look at organizations which requires the most help in your country. In Singapore, we face a serious issue of aging population. The size of citizens aged 65 and above doubled from 220,000 in 2000 to 440,000 today, and is expected to increase to 900,000 by 2030. Studies have shown that many elderly people and people with physical disabilities live alone in Singapore, and are without any regular domestic help. Home for habitat requires volunteers to help clean, paint, sort & pack belongings, and clear infestations at elderly home.
What are some examples interesting examples of CSR?
- Sick of the hustle and bustle of our city? Try Farming and Maintenance work @ Kampung Kampus by Ground-up initiative.
- If you prefer working with children. Try distributing of toys and story books for children from under-privileged families by Beyond Social Services.
- Your organization can organize a Charity run event to raise funds for selected charity organizations. Giving.sg has a list of trending campaigns which require fundings from the public.
It is time to think about whether such CSR event is possible in your organization this weekend. You can contact email@example.com for more information about corporate volunteerism if you wish to find out more. Or visit giving.sg for more inspiration about the type of volunteerism activities available in the market.