What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

According to Business News Daily, Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, is a form of self-regulation that reflects a business’s accountability and commitment to contributing to the well-being of communities and society through various environmental and social measures.

Wait a second. That’s way too complicated. Let’s make this simple.

Basically, CSR is a concept that a company has a responsibility to do good. It’s about companies giving back to society in ways that truly make a difference.

CSR goes beyond earning money for shareholders. It’s concerned with protecting the interests of all stakeholders, such as employees, customers, suppliers and the communities in which businesses operate.

Examples of CSR include caring for the environment, engaging in philanthropic endeavors, and social business projects.

Some people think that companies owe no duty to society outside making as much money as possible within the law. But those who support Corporate Social Responsibility believe that companies should pursue a deeper purpose beyond simply maximizing profits.

Why Your Business Cares About CSR

CSR Company Impact

In short, companies care about CSR because employees do. CSR is widely accepted as an obligation for modern business and it has been shown to greatly improve team efficiency. It’s a growth activity for companies, and consequently, the demand for corporate teambuilding activities with a socially responsible outcome is too. And when you throw the current landscape of the world into the mix, CSR is perhaps more important now than ever.

According to Reworked, the social and political events of the past couple of years demonstrated the need for companies to be socially aware and actively play a positive role in the lives of employees, customers and the world at large.

Connecting sales and leadership content to social issues can transform company culture and attract the best and brightest to an organization. CSR is a critical arrow in the quiver of companies for demonstrating their investment in people, customers and the world.

Those companies look to meeting planners and training companies to help harness the power of working together for the greater good and to grow their bottom lines.

CSR Employee Benefits

CSR experiences require the participation of all the team members, stretch the capabilities of each individual, push the participants out of their comfort zones, and challenge their understanding of the “norm” allowing them to bond with their colleagues in these shared experiences for a greater good.

Community involvement is also a great teambuilding exercise that gets employees out of the office and into a new setting together.

This breaks up the day-to-day routine and gives members of your team an opportunity to use different skills and collaborate with different people to achieve a different kind of objective than they would in the office.

It can lead to new skills, ideas, or relationships that can help deliver growth for the company.

Let’s dive in further and take a look at the reasons why CSR teambuilding experiences improve team efficiency:

Reason #1: Networking

Employees are given the opportunity to interact with one another in a relaxed atmosphere structured by a common goal. This tension-free environment gives employees a chance to connect with one another on a personal level.

These relationships continue to be fostered in the workplace long after the experience is over.

Reason #2: Create awareness of your brand within your community

CSR giveback activities create relationship opportunities within their local community.

With the delivery of a final product to deserving kids in your community, your brand is displayed in a positive light to a local youth organization.

Reason #3: Attract qualified applicants

Today’s employees want to talk about the positive impact they have in society; more importantly, they want to contribute hands-on to the surrounding community.

Many qualified potential employees have spent time during their college career giving back in some capacity. Whether it has been donating time, money, or both.

Participation in CSR experiences gives employees a unique sense of purpose, a new opportunity to interact, and an enhanced sense of pride for their employer.

Reason #4: Promote the health and welfare of employees

Grow your employees’ hearts, literally. In a study by Washington D.C. based Corporation for National & Community Service, giving back has been shown to increase the size of one’s heart.

Individuals who engage in volunteer work, regularly, have exhibited a reduction in despair. In turn they have a decreased risk of heart disease.

This increase in blood flow has also been shown to elevate the mood of an employee throughout their day.

Reason #5: Promote Production

Happier employees make for a more productive workplace. If an employer has taken the time to strengthen relationships not only within a department, but inter-departmentally, then they have taken the first step to creating stronger bonds within the company as a whole.

It is this stronger bond that will focus everyone’s efforts towards a common goal of customer satisfaction.

Happier employees create a positive association with the company that allows them to give back on company time during corporate give back activities. This state of elation is what maintains a company’s brand image and positive return on investment.

Understanding How Odyssey Teams Implements CSR

We offer teambuilding programs that work by doing more than check a CSR box. Odyssey Teams programs trigger emotions and change lives.

Odyssey Teams began in 1991 delivering team and leadership development workshops that simultaneously benefit your people, teams, community, and world.

Each of their CSR teambuilding programs, delivered live or virtually, has a give-back component that is designed as a business simulation to emotionally anchor the specific values and mission of your organization.

This creates an impact in real-time with real customers who benefit in a life-changing way and affirms your organization’s commitment to corporate social responsibility in your communities.

The unique combination of training and philanthropy allows their world-class facilitators to give a powerful, new perspective to the purpose of work and the importance of team collaboration

Odyssey Teams’ work is global, they have been widely recognized and awarded in the areas of CSR and 80% of their clients are repeat or referred.

4 Odyssey CSR  Teambuilding Activities to Improve Team Efficiency

Build-a-Hand

Are you ready to build a better organization and world? The Build-a-Hand (Helping Hands) experience is an award-winning method that puts prosthetic hands on amputees in third-world countries.

Build-a-Hand helps develop your team’s heads, hands and hearts. Your team aids in the funding and building of prosthetic hands needed by millions of amputees around the world.

Together, these hands will be provided at no cost to the recipients. Since its inception in 2008, Build-a-Hand program participants have contributed more than 65,000 prosthetic hands to amputees in more than 80 countries.

This engaging and impactful CSR teambuilding experience is designed to teach collaboration, commitment and quality, while building a deeper sense of connection to your colleagues, customers and community.

Life Cycles

Teambuilding forever changed in 2000 when we invented Life Cycles – the original CSR program where teams build bikes for children in need.

Since then, this program has been often imitated, but never duplicated. From Australia to Alaska, more than 100,000 employees have built more than 23,000 bikes for children during our sessions.

This activity has helped transform the way employees think about ‘work’. By creating something valuable for a person in need, your team will enjoy an amazing experience.
The value of teamwork and focusing on products and services will become clear.

Board Meeting

The Board Meeting experience is about unification. With a twist and a kick-flip.
It’s about building better teams by creating an experience to give to children in need. Each Board Meeting teambuilding kit includes a skateboard deck, trucks, wheels, pads, helmet and a backpack.

Teams receive work orders to build and design skateboards for real customers. Completed kits are donated to local children who might even surprise the teams and help them complete the process.

Creativity, connection and fun are part of the formula for success in this program and the experience is packed with metaphors to help roll out conversations about brand awareness, customer-centricity, quality assurance, and collaboration.

The Board Meeting is a client favorite in both virtual and in-person delivery.

Playhouse Challenge

When you’re creating something from concept to design, and through execution, you are exercising your mind in a left-right-left motion towards completion. In the Playhouse Challenge experience your group will work cooperatively to imagine, design, and build a custom playhouse.

Working in teams, each group receives an ‘order’ from the ‘customer’ and are given all the supplies and tools needed to create a physical structure.

During the planning and building periods, teams must develop new ways to meet tight deadlines, work within safety regulations, resolve miscommunications, develop proper plans and execute the collective vision.

What emerges are one-of-a-kind playhouses, as well as more cohesive teams.

The playhouses ‘built for the customer’ are donated to special guests from local shelters, schools, or other non-profit organizations.

Conclusion

Teambuilding and some form of corporate social responsibility has been a meeting staple for years. But most companies and the types of CSR events they offer to their employees don’t fully hit the mark.

With Odyssey Teams activities, they want people to think, feel and do. Their goal is for participants to experience intense feelings and emotions they can take back to their work environment.

It’s important to identify specific issues at your workplace such as leadership development and morale enhancement so Odyssey can design your program with these goals in mind. Odyssey Teams makes every action have a purpose to allow the participants to see how the entire program is connected and relevant to their everyday life.

Odyssey Teams’ purpose-driven experiences achieve business goals by doing two things:

First, by connecting participants to an activity that produces meaningful work. And second, by connecting them with each other and the reason for the meeting.

They’re significant and meaningful on several levels, and people understand that dramatic, memorable experiences provide great teaching moments.

We better remember events that are different, and when you add the element of helping others, the combination leaves an enduring impression.

Building something is a way for groups to learn how to work together by creating a tangible product. The power isn’t just in the building of a product; it comes in the context and framing.

Focus on collaboration, alignment and culture to develop purpose-driven experiences and the bonus is that the learning is anchored with a deep-rooted feeling of satisfaction, togetherness, and the sense of making a real difference.

We are so proud to be in this CSR movement and we’re all in this together. Let’s see what change we can make for the better.

Contact Odyssey Teams to learn more about their CSR programs and value they bring to teams around the world.

Written By: Ross Field