Supporting Your Employees’ Activism & Social Awareness

In today’s atmosphere, workers want to be at a company that not only supports their values but that allows them to be actively involved. 75% of Millennials would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company. Just last summer, Wayfair employees protested against migration detention and the company’s business deal to supply furniture to the President Drumpf’s detention centers. Times are changing. There are simple practices your business can implement to support your employees’ activism and be branded as a socially responsible workplace.


Supporting Employee Activism

Even if your business doesn’t support exactly the same values as your employees, they will feel supported in an open environment where they are able to practice their social activism. Allowing employees to have one or two days off specifically for activism such as volunteering or peacefully protesting a cause of their choice is a great example. 

Some companies have banded together to make volunteering in their local community a team bonding exercise. Others give employees VTO or volunteer time off, which is days off from work specifically to volunteer for a cause or organization they support. In a piece from Glassdoor, companies like Salesforce and Patagonia are highlighted that offer time off specifically to volunteer either as a company or independently.


Voting as a Patriotic Right

No matter your employees political affiliation, every citizen in the United States has both a right and patriotic duty to vote in each election. The following states and territories have made Election Day a civic holiday:

  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • The territory of Puerto Rico

Other states have put into law that workers are permitted to take time off to vote without penalty. California and New York law dictates that employees must be allowed sufficient time to vote (approximately two hours) at the beginning or end of a shift. There is also a movement for tech companies to allow employees to take time off to vote, spearheaded by venture capitalist, Hunter Walk. Names like Spotify, Autodesk, and Square, Inc., were some of those to follow Walk’s lead.

Allowing your employees to take time off of work to vote is crucial to showing support for their patriotic rights. If you can’t afford to give your employees the whole day off, you can arrange shifts of employees to go and vote so not everyone is going at the same time or designate a specific time for everyone to go at once. Keep in mind some employees’ polling place may be farther away than others so prepare to have some out longer than others.


Donating Annually to Worthwhile Causes

Organizing a food drive around the holidays, donating a portion of quarterly profits, and doing toy drives for your community are all great ways to be a socially responsible company. Not only do these types of donations and efforts go a long way in helping your community but they also make your business a charitable organization.

By giving more often and in a way that your employees are directly involved, they will feel more satisfied in the work they are doing. This could involve offering services to nonprofits in your area with less budget than big businesses a discount or a sponsorship for their programs. For example, Centrus Digital partners with a variety of nonprofit clients to maintain their Google Ad Grant. The Google Ad Grant offers $10,000 a month to qualifying nonprofits in advertising spend but most organizations do not also have the manpower to learn the ropes of managing the Ad Grant and its different campaigns. It’s an easy way we’re able to work together to strengthen our community ties and connect with others we may not have met otherwise while providing a worthwhile service to those who need it.

No matter how you decide to have your company contribute to your community, your employees and customers will see that you are taking steps to be a more socially responsible business. Your employees will feel pride in the company they work for and your business will grow deeper ties to the local community. A little effort goes a long way in building a socially responsible and equitable organization.