Guest blog by Joseph Williams
Nearly 50 years ago the birth of the internet in 1969 promised the utopia of a connected world, where the exchange of goods and ideas would herald a new era of efficiency, tolerance and growth. Some of these promises have been fulfilled, but many threats to society have also been revealed. How to deal with these challenges was the topic of conversation when ONE HUNDRED launched their European Hub at an event with a gathering of organisations and keynote speakers talking about business purpose in the digital age.
This era of 24 hr news and instant information flow has had unexpected consequences. Trust in our governments, business, “experts” and even charities is wearing thin as they seem to stagger from scandal to scandal. Failing public private partnerships, sexual harassment lawsuits, excessive bonuses and even the global financial crisis are increasing the focus on institutions that were once the bedrock of our society.
On an average day in the Western world, people see between 250 and 270 pieces of advertising. Globally, approximately $600 billion was spent on advertising in 2015, with the UK spending nearly 1% of its GDP on marketing. The power and reach of marketing and advertising in our society is unquestionable.
Dentsu Aegis Network is one of the largest agencies in the world. They have recognised they can harness this power as a force for good by utilising the skills of their employees to support community-based charities. Over the past five years, the agency has helped more than 2,500 small charities increase their communications capabilities. The company’s commitment has been particularly evident in its work with GlobalGiving UK, in an innovative approach to sourcing marketing skills through the Route to Good programme, and also with the GlobalGivingTIME programme, one of the first online volunteering communities.
Employee engagement is a buzzword that has been around for a long time, but what does it actually mean, and what are the benefits to organisations? There are many ways an organisation can engage its employees. This article explores both the theory and practice, especially in relation to the social side of sustainability. I’ll highlight two best practice examples from this vast galaxy of programs, initiatives, and missions, one from either side of the Atlantic, one a niche NGO and the other a high profile brand.
Whilst there are hundreds of definitions of this field, a particularly well- rounded one comes from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Engagement is: “being positively present during the performance of work by willingly contributing intellectual effort, experiencing positive emotions and meaningful connections to other”. They make a useful distinction between emotional engagement (driven by a desire to do more for an organisation) and transactional engagement (drive to earn a living and progress).
In addition to helping clients communicate, connect and change, I love highlighting stories from the front line of inspiring sustainability.