The turn of the old and the new year is usually associated with different charitable actions. Szlachetna Paczka, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, individual fundraising events, the transfer of 1% of tax. We must admit that society has become mature enough to share with others. We often hear about spectacular actions – organized individually via different foundations and through crowdfunding websites.
Also, there are more and more companies which become involved in different activities for social benefit and can, throughout the whole year, participate in several really interesting events.
How to make employees feel that they are not compelled to help?
One of the basic rules is that the participation in a charitable action should be connected with a real involvement of employees. This can be achieved in several ways. – In the first place, it should be decided what the team value more: concern about the environment, children, animals, socially excluded people… There is a multitude of target groups; an important thing is to present the team an action they will feel emotionally involved with. If the budget and possibilities allow, charity actions may be diversified, and, e.g., every quarter an action with a different purpose may be organized. In the last year, we successfully conducted an action of book collection, we planted trees, prepared two parcels for the Szlachetna Paczka campaign and played in a charity football championship. The more successful actions, the greater will within the team. An important thing is not to exaggerate. We cannot help everyone, and employees will definitely “become immune” to actions coming too frequently one after another – says Joanna Sieradzka, PR Manager at Hicron, who manages the Employer Branding activities. Sometimes employees come up with ideas by themselves, without anyone else’s intention – this is a real treasure for the organization.
What causes grassroots initiatives?
This is what happened several months ago, when one of the SAP consultants came to the Employer Branding team and proposed that the Hicron football team should take part in a charity match, and the income obtained from it should be donated to support the treatment of little Ania suffering from a brain tumour and complications from a neurosurgical operation.
What was the background of the employees’ initiative? – I have known Ania’s story for some time and I am keeping my fingers crossed for her – says Sebastian Wawrzyniak, a SAP consultant at Hicron – I was working with her dad in the same company for a while. I learnt about the tournament from Facebook. We had been playing as amateurs with the boys from work for several years, so the red light in my head came on instantly. As Hicron was involved in different charitable actions, it seemed natural to enter the tournament in orange colours.
The example of this story shows that the two things were key: the good intentions of the person involved and the fact that the provided support was associated with entertainment, and the winning was not the purpose in itself.
When the employee takes the initiative, is it difficult to gather resources or convince the company to participate?
– The green light from the company was a formality. Hicron has been involved in different charitable and sport-related events. The problem was the date. On the same day, the company was to present the team at Formoza Challenge, with some of our football players. Literally one week before that event it was postponed, which allowed a stronger team to be presented – says Wawrzyniak.
So we can see that employees know that they can count on the company’s support in such actions, because Hicron proved more than once that it is not afraid of participating in charitable events.
In the space of the past 18 months we could see that Hicron was sensitive to social matters. Participation in events like:
– Hicronada – charity Olympic games for Hicron employees, with income distributed among three organizations: the Wrocław Hospice for Children, the Poznań foundation Głosem Zwierząt and the foundation for the promotion of sports culture,
– collection of teddy bears for the emergency services in Wrocław,
– support for four families as part of the Szlachetna Paczka scheme (2016 and 2017),
– the auctioning of books in the ABSL association, with income donated to the Wrocław Hospice for Children,
– company fundraising for napkins and hygiene products for children from the Pomeranian Hospice for Children,
– planting trees in Wrocław as part of the dotlenieni.org action,
– or the match for little Ania, prove that Hicron staff members have big hearts, and also that participation in all those events has tangible benefits connected with corporate social responsibility for the company itself. It turns out that for the employees themselves actions of that type also have a positive value – every such action allows even better integration and rest away from the monitor, and – most importantly – supports people in need. Sport is health – here we could take care of our health and Ania’s at the same time. Our great, orange hearts are eager to participate in such initiatives – says Sebastian Wawrzyniak.
Hanna Bielerzewska, PR Specialist, Hicron