Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards Finalist Interview with Sophia Moshasha, Marketing Manager, WBB
1. Why do you believe CSR strategy is important for a company/you?
People have a natural inclination to stay at a company where they feel a personal connection to their peers and the culture. It is our responsibility to provide them with a “home away from home”, after all, work takes up a significant amount of an employee's life. Our CSR initiatives help us sustain employee loyalty and longevity by helping them feel a place of belonging and value.
2. Do you believe that the CSR work you participate in should be affiliated with the work you/your company does? For example, should an Oil company’s CSR be in cleaning up oil spills?
It is nice to have CSR work compliment a company's industry. WBB’s largest clientele is the DoD and most of our employees are also ex-military. Most of our CSR work revolves around helping veterans or wounded soldiers. These efforts not only shine a positive light on us from our customer’s prospective, but our employees are more inclined to help since it supports our overall mission to provide for our customer and help those with whom they've shared similar experiences.
3. What makes you/your company stand out compared to other individuals/companies participating in CSR?
Our CSR work stands out because most, if not all, of our employees are actively involved and participate in our initiatives. As an added bonus, we have many employees that not only support these causes, but they initiate and lead them as well! What more in loyalty or comradery could you ask for? Our employees don’t just participate because it is a good thing to do, they are involved because of the personal connection they feel to the cause and will go out of their way to support in any way they can. With having a large geographical spread of 7 home site offices and several other client site locations, I’d say that everyone has made a tremendous effort to support our many CSR initiatives.
4. Do you believe contributing back to the community allows you/your company to have a deeper connection with your/its consumers?
I do believe that our DoD customers value what we do for the military veteran community. Since they feel a personal connection to our mission, they have become more involved in supporting our initiatives which has, in turn, helped us develop closer relationships with them.
5. What are some events or causes that inspire you and your team?
It is the individuals at WBB that really inspire our company and team to do more. Many of our peers are involved with their own community initiatives that they bring to our attention for company-wide support. We have an active Livestrong leader who is asked to speak at the "Movember" event at the Australian Embassy on consecutive years, triathlon and marathon runners including the Ironman and the Boston Marathon, and those that have helped clean up property and build houses for wounded veterans. If anything, we have to keep up with the energy of our employees!
6. What advice would you give to individuals/companies trying to participate in CSR?
I would advise that companies get their employees involved from the planning stages. People want to feel that they are a valued contributor and this way, they will be more likely to be more involved in executing these initiatives and getting their peers involved. Think of your CSR initiatives as internal campaigns. That is how much thought and planning needs to go into initiatives in order to become successful. Do not limit involvement to only local activities; think of fun ways to get employees involved from wherever they live or work. Most importantly, all departments and management need to be on board and enthusiastic about the company’s plans, otherwise, it is likely that employees will not find these initiatives of value either.