For law firm Withers, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is about understanding and managing the relationships between its business and the community, as well as the environment and the economy in which it operates. It is also about identifying and supporting staff talent.
The organisation’s CSR programme comprises a charity of the year, volunteering opportunities, pro bono work for legal staff, and a mentoring programme for business support employees.
The programme, which was launched in November, has been designed by Withers and its programme partner, Islington Council, to build the workplace confidence of programme participants, who are local unemployed parents.
Sharon Tebb, compensation and benefits manager at Withers, says: “It is hugely important for us to participate and give something back to the local community in which we operate.”
Tebb, who was appointed to create and manage Withers’ CSR programme last year, approaches the task in much the same way as she runs the organisation’s benefits programme: through communication with, inclusion of, and listening to staff.
“The measure of success has to be the continued engagement and commitment from our employees to ensure the success of the programme,” she says.
This has helped to create a return on investment for the programme, she adds. “Our employees have a real appetite for [CSR], and a programme that they have helped to design and feel part of has a massively positive impact on engagement and creating that all-important feel-good factor.”