When designing a corporate social responsibility program, it’s important to make sure that employees are significantly involved in the process. Having engaged employees who are emotionally invested in your philanthropic work can really improve your team’s morale and level of motivation. It also helps the larger community connect with you, and improves the way your company is perceived.
“A good company cares about where they are, what they’re doing and how they go about doing it,” says Jay Gotra, CEO of Alliance Security (a firm that initially operated from a spare bedroom, and then rapidly developed into an organization spread across 48 states). Alliance Security aims to provide the best security and home technology equipment to its customers. The firm has been named Dealer of the Year by Monitronics for five years in a row, and has also been on INC 5000’s list of the fastest growing private companies for two years consecutively.
Jay shared with us the ways in which Alliance’s employees connect with the community. He also shared why he feels it’s important to involve his employees in charitable work. “I need my people to understand how fortunate they are. I want them to be able to resonate with people who haven’t had many opportunities, and I want my employees to contribute in anyway they can to the community.”
Giving Back by Protecting the Community
Jay elaborates on the various philanthropic activities Alliance is engaged in. He emphasizes, “We don’t want our contributions to be limited to the checks we write. We love to get our employees involved with the charities we support.”
Alliance has partnered with the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV), an organization that supports victims of domestic violence in America. Jay is one of the ten men actively invloved in the ‘No More’ campaign conducted by the foundation. As a part of the program, Alliance installs free security and monitoring equipment for domestic violence victims in their homes for a year. The RICADV identifies individuals who don’t feel safe within their personal environment, and approaches Alliance to support them. Jay says, “We protect homes and families because that’s what we believe in. What better way to do that than by protecting people who aren’t safe and comfortable in their personal space?”
Alliance also partners with Year Up, an organization that takes inter-city kids looking for an opportunity to learn and grow under its wing. The organization trains the kids for a year by helping them improve their skill sets and teaching them business strategies. The students are given a stipend to motivate them to practice independence and set goals. After the training, Alliance hires these students and gives them an opportunity to be a part of “corporate America.” The company even rewards the students’ ambition to succeed by rewarding them on their birthdays with $25 gift certificates. Jay shares, “We want these kids to know they mean something, and that we appreciate the efforts they make to succeed. We want to make them feel valued.”
During the Christmas season, Alliance involves its employees in spreading the Christmas spirit to less fortunate families within the community. The firm adopts over fifty families and helps brighten their Christmas by fulfilling wish lists. Employees sign up to shop for items on the wish lists, wrapping and delivering them to kids in need (on a list divided up by department). Jay tells us, “When our employees look at kids asking for simple things like a pair of socks, it puts perspective on the fact that that there are lot of things that are more important than our regular routine.”
Alliance also supported the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a unique way. Jay and his executive team took care of the $10 donation towards the cause on behalf of anyone who accepted the challenge and poured a bucket of ice water on themselves. Participants were encouraged to share videos of themselves undertaking the challenge, with the social media hashtag #AllianceSecurity.
Why does all of this matter?
Jay says, “Our philanthropy reinforces our vision of doing good, feeling good and growing.”
The charitable causes the firm supports help its employees cultivate compassion and empathy for those in need. Team volunteering activities during the holiday season also foster a sense of camaraderie between members of the staff.
Recently, Jay conducted an interview of his employees. He found each member of the staff to be grounded and committed, not just to the work at the company, but to the community as well. According to Jay, the employees are “bought in” to the philanthropic vision and genuinely want to make a difference.
Alliance also hosts Dress Down Day for its employees. Employees donate $5 to dress casually for work. The proceeds go toward charities that employees are personally involved in. Jay shares, “We want to show our support for charitable causes our employees are passionate about. We want them to know we care about their interests as well.”
Jay attributes the success of the company to his employees and their commitment to their work.”Our success comes from our employees, who believe in the bigger vision of learning, teaching and growing in an atmosphere that everyone can thrive in,” he says. The work Alliance does with various organizations gives team members a chance to see what life is like for other people. Jay wants these experiences to motivate his employees to do more and to be more engaged in the community. “Giving back is close to my heart. At Alliance we want to create a good, generous, work culture that helps our employees do more for society.”
Our session with Jay was extremely engaging, and brought to light a whole new level of commitment towards giving back. We’re sure this story will inspire our readers who are looking to engage their employees. Thanks, Jay, for sharing your story with us!