“Thank you for all your help, the new chairs, the curtains, teacher’s desks and their chairs, everything is so pretty!”
Everyone likes to know that their actions are appreciated and valued, so it is quite rewarding to hear the preceding words thrown your way, regardless of context. When you find out that they were said by a 5th grader, it makes them downright heartwarming.
Feedback like this is what Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs are all about. Volunteering your time, resources and efforts to better the lives of those less fortunate than you is the foundation for many CSR programs. Aside from the warm feelings created, these programs are very effective in improving the performance of companies by encouraging customer loyalty, attracting top talent and engaging employees. A 2013 study by Reputation Institute on Reputation and Corporate Social Responsibility found that 73% of consumers across the 15 largest markets are willing to recommend a company based on their CSR activities.
CSR initiatives that cover ethical issues relating to environment, human rights, supply-chain sustainability, consumers and transparency with corporate governance are so important that a 2013 survey found that 97% of companies surveyed had an operating budget for them in place. This was up 16% from the study in 2010 and a sign that these programs are not going away. Two other interesting statistics from the same article note that 80% of the 250 most profitable companies globally filed CSR reports in 2008 and 72% stated that they would pick a job at an “eco-friendly company” over others if they had the choice.
With all of this in mind, JNR is consistently working with clients to create CSR programs that operate in conjunction with our incentive travel, meeting and event programs. There is no better time to give back to a community than when all of your top team members are gathered in another part of the world and presented with the chance to better the lives of locals. Participants will leave the destination with everlasting memories of not only the fun they had, but also of their worthwhile contributions to their hosting community.
On a recent sales incentive program that we implemented for a large client in Punta Mita, Mexico, we gave the participants a chance to help make some much needed renovations to Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla elementary school in Nuevo Corral del Risco.
While luxuriating in a trip to paradise, our client’s program participants came to the school and carried out a complete overhaul to reinvigorate the campus. Always with a smile, the attendees repainted the school, planted trees, fixed damaged restrooms, set up brand new chairs and completed other miscellaneous activities.
One student exclaimed: “I would like to be like you when I grow up and help the kids in my hometown ‘Corral del Risco’, and all those I can help.”
This six-grader also said that he had always dreamed of a nicer school like he had seen in popular movies and that it was now a reality due to the efforts of the program participants. Even more importantly, this child appears inspired to give back in the future and continue the cycle of kindness.
All financial and business objectives aside, being a responsible corporation, is a beautiful thing because lives are directly improved through selfless acts. These program participants will likely never forget the amazing days and nights they spent on the pristine beaches of Punta Mita, but the words of thanks from the children that they inspired and helped may be even more strongly engrained.
We leave you with a few more quotes from children who were impacted by this program.
6th Grader: Thank you for the new students chairs.
3rd Grade: You are the best, thank you!
4th Grader: Wish you were here to say hi and thank you!
2nd Grader: Thank you for choosing my school from all of the rest!
6th Grader: Thank you for your support.
Written by Kristopher Hewkin
JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.