Christmas is the season of giving — something which is easily forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. That’s why the recruitment team at Robert Half in Birmingham, have decided to take action and swap their staff Christmas party for something rather different.
This December, the team are spending three Wednesdays on the run-up to Christmas volunteering at the local foodbank and at Elderlink Centre community events.
The ‘Charity Wednesdays’ initiative started last year, with two volunteer sessions at a local foodbank in North Birmingham. It was a direct reaction to feedback from staff regarding social responsibility and improving the business’ contribution to the local community.
“We sat down and discussed what we could do this year and a couple of things came up,” said Kris Harris, Associate Director of Robert Half Midlands, “one was the foodbank exercise again and the second was looking at another demographic who could use our support over the Christmas period and that was the elderly.”
Far from begrudging the cancellation of their Christmas party, staff were keen to take part, “the uptake was massive,” Kris says. “Everyone wanted to be a part of it. Especially those who volunteered in the initiative last year…it’s been a really big eye-opener for them.”
The initiative is another step towards Robert Half’s culture of inclusivity — something they’ve been working hard to cultivate in recent months, “it’s about getting everyone together to give back,” Kris says. “We’re listening to people and reacting to their feedback.” The initiative has also been important in helping bring the work-life dynamic back into balance for the team.
The impact that ‘Charity Wednesdays’ has had on the community can already be felt and the Birmingham team are hoping that other local businesses will see the initiative and feel encouraged to join in. “We’re a big company and I think we have a responsibility to support the community,” Kris says simply.
From here, Kris wants to improve the initiative by giving staff one half day per quarter to volunteer. “It’s really about accepting that we need to do more in our local community,” Kris says.
For him and his team, volunteering has been a real eye opener — one which could help everyone bring their wider contribution into perspective.
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