The former Managing Director in Citibank’s Corporate and Investment Bank shares his experiences building the company’s EMEA alumni program.Read more
How To Involve Corporate Alumni In Your Business CSR Programs
A close view of the importance of CSR in corporate alumni relations. We unpack how to get departing employees involved in your initiatives.
CSR is coming to the fore for many innovative companies. Whether your business has programs within your local community or further afield, these are often draw cards for attracting top talent. Getting involved with the right CSR projects typically ties into both personal and professional gains.
Aside from that, CSR programs also make a lot of business sense. They boost the image of your brand among your customers and prospective employees. They also provide your current employees (and any involved alumni) with the opportunity to leverage your resources to do good, which leads to higher levels of employee satisfaction, retention, and engagement.
Here is a closer view of the importance of CSR in business relations with corporate alumni. We also unpack how you can encourage departing workers to become involved in these initiatives.
The Importance Of CSR In Relations With Corporate Alumni
A well-developed and maintained corporate alumni community is a boon for any enterprise. It contributes to business resilience, makes a company a more attractive place to work, and boosts engagement levels among current employees. As such, it makes perfect sense for you to provide a clear-cut value proposition for ex-employees to stay in touch.
Corporate Social Responsibility programs are one of the most compelling draw cards for convincing departing employees to become part of an alumni community. After all, when you invite a person to take part in an initiative that goes beyond your company to do good in the greater community, it shows that the platform is not just a glorified promotion of your business.
It is a clear-cut step towards building an authentically connected community that shares the same values. This is often overlooked in alumni programs and can be leveraged to great effect by innovative businesses that understand the needs of their ex-employees.
Four Excellent Ways To Involve Your Alumni In Your CSR Programs
1. Establish Volunteer Programs
Volunteering is a means of giving back and forming connections in your community, but your employees and alumni may not have the contacts or resources to do so by themselves. This is why it’s a great idea to establish a volunteer program through your business and then get everyone to chime in.
Volunteering is especially gratifying if it allows your employees to leverage their specialized skills. So think along these lines when you choose your volunteering angle. For instance, if your company operates in the tech space, you may consider offering tech-based support to NGOs in your community by helping them to set up websites and donation platforms. Or you could help small start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Another example would be to align seasoned project managers or eventing specialists with schools or creches in your vicinity. If the schools express interest, they could help educators streamline their internal operations or set up fund-raising events or special occasions like senior farewells or graduation ceremonies.
2. Offer Mentoring Opportunities
Another great CSR initiative is to partner employees and alumni with individuals who can benefit from mentoring. For instance, graphic designers at your company could teach youth from low-income communities who have expressed an interest in their field. Or accountants can help entrepreneurs who are launching a business make sense of setting up a legal company, paying taxes, and developing internal financial systems.
On the other hand, you could also create a platform for on-the-job training, where people can come and shadow your employees to learn from them as they go about their work. In cases like these, alumni could be invited to join in even though they may not be on the payroll anymore. It’s normally a good idea to set aside a few days for initiatives like these to not impact overall productivity too much.
3. Promote External Charity Initiatives On Your Alumni Platform
Some of your alumni members may be involved in charity initiatives that are not associated with your business. They may be building with Habitat for Humanity, be involved with the Big Sister/Big Brother programs, etc. While this may not benefit your business directly, you can use your alumni platform to bring attention to and raise awareness for the causes they support in their personal capacity.
Make a point of reaching out to your alumni to find out which NGOs and charities they support. Make it clear that they are free to send you information to distribute within the community or to let you know when there is a fund-raising event or initiative that could do with some exposure. The feel-good factor of this type of communication is amazing and goes a long way to fostering solid bonds with alumni.
4. Celebrate Tangible Program Results
Make sure to celebrate the tangible results of your CSR programs on your alumni platform. People love to see how their actions and contributions make a difference. For instance, if a prospective student mentored by one of your alumni goes on to succeed in their studies, touch base with them to see how they are doing and share their story. Or show a family living in a home you built, etc.
TOP TIP: When sharing this type of content, always be mindful of the subjects of your stories and their feelings. For instance, posting pictures of people in line at a soup kitchen you attended is not very sensitive. In times like these, it might be better to share statistics on how many people received food that day, for example.
Involving your corporate alumni in your CSR programs holds many benefits. It boosts your employer brand and leads to improved levels of employee satisfaction, retention, and post-employment engagement. Involve your alumni in your CSR initiatives by establishing volunteer programs and offering mentoring opportunities.
Also, promote external charity initiatives on your alumni platform and celebrate tangible program results regularly. At the end of the day, these help you to stay in touch and engage with your alumni in ways that add value.
For more information on how an alumni program can work for you, get in touch with the EnterpriseAlumni team today.