Many of today’s leading organizations emphasize the importance of corporate social responsibility — being keenly aware of opportunities to enhance their local communities. There are countless ways to accomplish this, from day-to-day volunteering events to “big picture” strategic efforts.
In light of this growing focus, we are posing five questions to help organizations identify passion projects that make sense for both their employees and their businesses.
- What sparks creativity for your team?
Creative inspiration can be found anywhere, from street art to the latest technology. From our perspective, one important creative outlet is art. Art inspires us to view things from a new perspective and can bring to light new ideas as a result. Within your business’ local community, search for art-forward organizations to inspire success in new ways. In our home community, Spartanburg, South Carolina,the Chapman Cultural Center provides a place to discover, experience and celebrate the performing and visual arts, science and history. Creative volunteer opportunities are vast at these type of organizations, allowing your team to truly become an engaged partner.
- How can you incorporate workplace wellness?
Health and wellness has become a primary focus for many businesses, encouraging employees to take care of themselves both physically and emotionally. While the concept is simple — healthier employees are happier employees – there are also organizational benefits such as employee retention and higher productivity.
Milliken Floor Covering Europe embraces this concept, recently hosting an ‘Eating for Vibrant Energy’ event open to the community at their London showroom. Harley Street nutritionist, Kate Cook, spoke with the group about strategic eating in an effort to highlight wellness.
- What motivates your team?
By asking this question, you may find that many team members have causes they are passionate about. When businesses support causes relevant to their employees, those employees begin to feel more ownership at work. Jeff Morris with our uniform and protective fabrics business has found a connection with the Palmetto State Chapter of Folds of Honor. The nonprofit provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.
“My father and grandfather served in the military. I am honored to support an organization providing educational opportunities for the next generation of leaders and innovators, and for Milliken to support them by helping protect service members in the field through unparalleled innovation,” Morris shared.
- Where are there opportunities for community-focused team building?
There are dozens, even hundreds, of organizations looking for volunteers within every community. Many of these events also open the door to team building, encouraging employees to work together and rely on each other outside of a work setting. Whether it is digging into a hands-on project or fundraising together over several months, these volunteer projects invite collaboration and strengthen bonds within your organization.
Helping to side, spackle and paint a local Habitat for Humanity home, the Milliken Healthcare Products team enjoyed a day outdoors in the community.
The Milliken performance & protective textiles division committed to raising funds for the American Heart Organization, culminating in the Upstate Heart Walk in Greenville, South Carolina. Leading up to the spring Heart Walk, associates held bake sales, a napery basket auction and more, raising more than $18,000 for the cause together.
- What causes connect to the work you do each day?
If your company is passionate about moving your industry forward in sustainability space, for example, align yourself with organizations that work toward the same goal. Dive deeper into this partnership, if you have already found an ideal partner organization, to see where you can develop mutually beneficial outlets to give back.
Milliken Floor Covering Europe collaborates with Healthy Seas, where associates volunteer their time reclaiming fishing nets from the ocean. Then, by using their ECONYL® regeneration system, nylon recovered from the sea is generated into high-quality, which is featured in hundreds of Milliken Floor Covering design options.
Passion drives people, and has the opportunity to drive businesses. We hope that reflection on these five questions will help contribute to your community, and company, success.