The Importance of Giving Back: Humanitarian Strategies for Companies

Social responsibility is a facet of business that organizations are increasingly attempting to integrate into their culture. Companies struggle to find the importance in giving back because it typically takes time, labor and resources away from day-to-day business. Instead, it redirects those assets toward an endeavor that may not directly influence the bottom line. But, a well-strategized humanitarian act can benefit an organization in more ways than one.

KW2’s social responsibility campaign includes Happy Music, the monthly community concert series, and Goodstock, a 24-hour marathon of creating advertising and marketing for non-profits. Also, the agency supports local artists by displaying an art gallery of work in the lobby to greet guests as they stop by. KW2 isn’t one of those agencies who is solely dollar-driven, but rather people-driven, which helps differentiate and resound the KW2 brand.

Why should companies be people-driven? It helps the public gain a sense of understanding of the company and see what the company stands for. It also shows the building and work for a greater good in the community. Lastly, from an internal perspective, the workplace can expect to gain a boost of morale and teamwork.

A feeling of obligation shouldn’t be the reason to give back, but rather the rooted sense of altruism and community. Surely, a company can only give back so much without compromising interests or earnings. On the other hand, with the right balance of business and good, a company can grow its brand by developing its genuine worth to the world. It is great when individuals give back, but when a company gives their time, talents and efforts in goodwill, it speaks volumes.



Let Your Culture be a Virus: Building a contagious workplace.

We all know that feeling this time of year. Headache, runny nose, cough, maybe stomach trouble? You have a virus. Being ill sticks with you all day long.

Here’s the thing. . .if you have a great workplace culture, it’s sorta like having a virus. But, in a much more positive way. Here’s how:

When I started my career at Leo Burnett Chicago, I was given a BIG pencil (because big ideas come from big pencils). Everything that came to me as a new hire was bundled up in clean white presentation folders with the infamous red apple and Leo’s signature. It created a sense of “wow” and wonderment for what I belonged to. At GSD&M in Austin, TX, palm trees were flown in to adorn the front yard, company values were engraved on the atrium floor and a the smell of breakfast tacos filled the building once a week.

It’s these amazing things, no matter how big or small that define a positive culture. These days, I soak up the Lake Monona scenery on my commute to KW2. I arrive to “Good Mornings” from anyone within earshot. I find my common cup (personalized mugs made for everyone at the company) and add my fuel of choice while catching up with colleagues in the kitchen. Positive cultures are contagious. They become part of who you are. You come to work not because you have to, but because you want to. You are a happier person, and happier people do better work.

So, what can you do turn your culture into a virus? Perhaps you can suggest one or two different ideas to management. Wouldn’t it be great, if everyone’s screen saver had our values on it? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had matching umbrellas? It only takes one little germ to catch a virus.