Build Teams and Communities the CSR Way

Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, is a buzzword getting a lot of play lately. But what is it and how can it be used in team building?

According to CSRAward (, “Corporate social responsibility is about how businesses align their values and behaviour with the expectations and needs of stakeholders - not just customers and investors, but also employees, suppliers, communities, regulators, special interest groups and society as a whole.”

It is, in other words, when a for-profit institution gives back to the community in a meaningful way, paying attention not only to its own profits but to the “quadruple bottom line” - the economic, social, cultural, and environmental impacts of its actions.

Organizations manifest CSR in a variety of ways. Eli Lilly, for example, devotes its entire worldwide workforce for a day to community service, such as volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Siemens initiated a ‘Turtle Walk’ to educate the public and take steps to protect endangered Oliver Ridley turtles.

Such activities not only benefit the community, but also the company. In fact a key benefit of CSR is the improved morale, sense of teamwork and connection to the community felt by staff who participate.

For this reason as well as to pay closer attention to the bottom line in a tough economy, companies are increasingly choosing to integrate its CSR activities with team building activities. Firms recognize both the intrinsic and economic benefit to the improved communication, coordination, morale and teamwork that team building provides.

The key to successful CSR-integrated team building is:  make it fun. Employees should walk away from the event feeling good about the event AND their team.

Events like “Freewheel” (aka build-a-bike), where staff work together to build a child’s first bike, not only provide a disadvantaged child with their first-ever bike, but also provide the employee significant gratification when they see the surprised smile on the delighted child’s face. Events like “Play it Forward” allow an organization to spread the charity among several worthy recipients while giving the employee some fun (and sometimes downright wacky) out-of-the-gift-box activities.

CSR team building can be both rewarding and fun. There is almost certainly an event appropriate to your company - and your community. To find out how, contact Run Brain Run.



Add this page to Blinklist Add this page to Add this page to Digg Add this page to Facebook Add this page to Furl Add this page to Google Add this page to Ma.Gnolia Add this page to Newsvine Add this page to Reddit Add this page to StumbleUpon Add this page to Technorati Add this page to Yahoo