Employee motivation and engagement is an ever changing beast. Today’s middle and senior managers have already been rewarded and impressed with adrenalin pumping experiences and massages by the beach. So the question today has become – were they left touched, moved and inspired from these activities on a deeper level? Were they able to take the experience back into their business and feel the ongoing motivation to contribute or drive change in a positive direction?
With the focus of incentive programs providing an opportunity to experience highly engaging activities as a select group, to explore and discover a destination and to grow together; crafted programs that embrace Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provide powerful and long lasting memories to cherish.
Creating authentic Corporate Social Responsibility programs for real change
There is a wonderful opportunity for organisations right now to create programs that matter. Programs that tie back to the interests of the group, their business objectives and create personal opportunities to get involved. Programs that can positively affect communities in need and also the business that takes part. This presents an opportunity to turn away from Voluntourism and develop a program that goes beyond visiting a community in need and giving out small benefits; to one that reaches further and focuses on meaningful change, where people work together to achieve a greater, longer term result.
When we think of authentic programs, one that stands out is when we took a group of early childcare educators to Alice Springs for their conference.
Imagine a group that were passionate about learning opportunities and exploring indigenous culture, and were eager to find ways to honour and embrace local teachings and incorporate these within their business, to educate future generations.
To start off their conference, we opened with a performance from a local indigenous drumming group, made up of children at risk from 5 – 15 years old performing and sharing their culture. This provided a very heart-felt experience for the group and formed an initial bond with the community.
The following day the group visited the indigenous school where they observed teaching styles, unique needs of the school and the challenges that faced this remote community. They shared stories and compared remote and city classroom approaches and cultural aspects that both centres faced. As early childcare educators the opportunity to be a part of this real life situation was both inspirational and emotional.
The group were so moved by the experience that upon coming back to the city a real community spirit grew; inspiring them to go on to create clothing rallies, provide sports uniforms and sporting equipment, plus develop a framework for systems and processes, teacher education and continual two-way sharing that would bring this cultural education to life and make the impact long lasting.
When you think about ROI, the impact that this experience had both at the event and in the months that followed was almost immeasurable. Communication and sharing opened up many doors, provided awareness and personal growth, with motivation increasing and a great sense of pride with real life stories collected to share back in the classroom. Was it a success? It was a resounding yes, and so much so that it continues on as an annual part of their program.
Employee engagement and motivation outcomes
A CSR program could take your team to a community half way across the world in need, or to an outback area of Australia, to get hands on and use their skills of innovation, problem solving and tenacity, in a new and rewarding way.
Not every program has this ongoing ability, but a well planned incentive program should enable stakeholders an opportunity to explore the local people, learn from them and then provide an opportunity to both discover and mutually benefit in the process.
Being part of a program that delivers real tangible results that go beyond the individual, give employees a greater feeling of self worth and the outcomes for business include higher moral, deeper connection to the business , stronger team values and cohesion, greater efficiency and even increased loyalty.
Synergy Events work on all types of incentive programs, but we see exceptional results when incentives are tied back to programs that make a real change within communities.