By Carissa Pahl of Marching in Their Footsteps
There is no doubt this is a weird and uncertain time for everyone. From students having to adjust and take classes online, to an unprecedented number of workers being laid off, who knows what lays ahead for our complicated world? This time brings up questions of how to keep companies running while also being sensitive to the current situation. How do we keep people coming through our doors or using our product while also being sensitive?
Today especially, the value of being good corporate citizens goes a long way. If you can champion a cause that triggers people’s values and intrigues minds, you must be doing something right. But with this global pandemic, it is even more important that companies give back intentionally.
Regardless of the financial situation, your company is in, try to think of some of the little things you could be doing to better the situation for employees and customers. Here are some tips to thrive in your CSR efforts during an unchartered time:
- Focus on your employees: Ensure employee comfort and safety.
- Give your employees flexibility. This adjustment is hard on everyone.
- Consider your core competencies and be creative with how you leverage them.
- Take your strengths and make something that those on the front lines can use for survival.
- Support local businesses.
- Provide financial security, if possible.
If your company is looking for some CSR inspiration during these difficult times, take inspiration from these three companies that are doing their best during this time to help others:
Lululemon has temporarily closed all of its North American locations. However, it is committed to continuing to pay its employees and contribute to a company pay relief fund.
Although this is an amazing thing that Lululemon is doing for its employees, this may not be an option for every company. Some companies don’t have the luxury of exerting money while they are not making any for themselves. However, there are still things your company can do to help employees.
Try being completely transparent with employees about what is going on, offering free resources for employees to take advantage of, and even maybe even suggesting some outdoor hikes or places to get some fresh air while also practicing safe social distancing practices. During a time of need, showing that you care goes a long way.
Starbucks announced that it would expand the company’s already-in-place health benefits to include up to 20 therapy sessions for all of its employees. Its policy extends and states that any Starbucks employee diagnosed or to come in contact with the disease is entitled to 14 days of full pay in order for them to self-isolate. Those employees who have underlying immune disorders are also included in this policy change.
Lush Cosmetics was one of the very first companies to step up in these uncertain times. They made a move to offer free handwashing to anyone who came into their store asking. No purchase necessary. This provided a necessary service in a scary time and was done with the resources they already had in-store. It showcased the company’s unselfish ability to give up some of their product for the greater good.
This is indeed a hard time for everyone across the world. From new graduated entering a nonexistent job market to those working on the frontlines, this is a scary time for all. It’s okay to feel down and upset. However, remember that anything is helpful to others during this time of need. So, think about what your company has to offer and see if it’s possible to make a difference.