When socially-responsible activities are aligned with an employee’s self-interest and an organization’s core values, principles of ethical conduct, social investment goals, environmental performance, human capital development and internal policies and procedures, reliable and sustainable corporate social responsibility (CSR) may be generated. Our emphasis and encouragement of employee volunteerism embraces these crucial underlying ideas – they are each key to our success and therein lies the clear connection that solidifies our CSR to our own Firm’s employee engagement. The prominence of our CSR efforts affords each of us inimitable opportunities to give back, not simply through unsighted altruism but through our deliberate contribution of strategic counsel and communications services, as well as by offering financial bequests as an overall Firm, individual office or practice, and/or as enthusiastic individuals.
“The people who work with AXON do so for a reason – it is because of how we use communications and education to help improve outcomes for patients. As part of this, our people also want to give something back to the communities we work in, whether that be supporting patient groups, fundraising, or raising awareness of conditions,” shared Ralph Sutton, International Managing Partner.
We believe that we each have an important role to play beyond our client work in the healthcare sector and there is never a shortage of staff that is predisposed to being engaged – ready to set the world afire to unleash creativity and make deeper levels of commitment to those in greatest need or causes that require action. In return for our individual and team efforts, our selfless employees have shared that they receive unparalleled satisfaction. This level of satisfaction goes well beyond the “expected” positive feelings that are traditionally tied to the experiences of charitable work. Our people achieve a much greater connection to their communities and to the organizations that are working to make improvements in the lives of those most in need, and, in part, to the larger construct of the world around us.
“Our highly active AXON UK CSR committee is led by an energized group of staff members who are passionate about ensuring that we identify and deliver a robust calendar of CSR activities each year, which involves our giving time, giving money and going green,” said Miranda Dini, Managing Partner, AXON UK. “For example, last year we supported a range of healthcare and children’s charities, and also tried to be nimble about responding to unexpected disasters, such as when one of our own was personally affected by the earthquake in Ecuador. It’s this desire to actively make a difference to our local community that really powers our CSR efforts.”
The work in our AXON UK office has benefitted several notable organizations in the last year. The team was able to expand support to a number of charities by hosting three different bake sales, including a MacMillan Coffee Morning, Christmas Jumper Day and our very own “Royal Bake Sale” to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, Save the Children UK and the Royal Trinity Hospice. The Royal Bake Sale coincided with the Queen’s 90th birthday and it was a great opportunity to bring people together in support of the Royal Trinity Hospice, which provides compassionate end-of-life care, education and community support across London’s seven boroughs. To celebrate the opening of the Rio Olympics, a sport-themed event included music, drinks and food, salsa lessons, face painting, fancy dress, and lots of fun! In total, £1,700 was raised for the Kings Fund Charity, which shapes health and social-care policy and practice.
In Toronto, our AXON CTS team came together last summer as ‘Team Spokespeople’ and cycled in a stationary bike-a-thon held in for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) 2016 Revolution Ride. For more than 40 years, JDRF has been a leader in the search for an end to type 1 diabetes (T1D), through both research funding and advocacy. JDRF’s research goals are realized by the projects being supported in three basic areas: Cure, Treat, Prevent. “JDRF is committed to improving the lives of every person with T1D and to curing this disease and our entire AXON team is excited to stand behind JDRF,” shared Shawn Patterson Baker, Vice-President at AXON CTS. “We will continue to help those living with T1D today to live healthier, easier and safer lives until a cure is found. In 2017 our Team Spokespeople is out to conquer distances, fundraising goals and type 1 diabetes!”
As a Firm we recognize employees, teams, and whole practices and offices for their pro bono work by incorporating this aspect into our annual performance evaluations. Our Firm has also been recognized and awarded for our ongoing corporate citizenship and these CSR efforts over our forty year history. With CSR deeply embedded within our corporate culture in every office, our AXON US office has a somewhat unique recent history with its CSR work – every award or honorable mention the team has won over the last seven years, with the exception of one, has been for our continued CSR efforts. Two award-winning examples include recent work on behalf of the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) and MedTech. Our AXON US senior management team recognizes the need to not only make a positive social impact but also to help set very high expectations of the people who enable us to make their project work a true success not by our own valuation but by our staff and peers in the industry.
“Our recent collaboration with MedTech allowed us to challenge ourselves to redefine bold thinking and innovation. We attribute our award-winning work to our ability to be effective communicators through our artistry with words and inspiring custom design work,” said Jennifer Barrett, Program Director and Director of Business Development at AXON US.
“As healthcare communicators, it is our responsibility to provide a platform and amplify each message to improve patient outcomes,” said Evita Sanchez, Director of Client Services at AXON US. “We have taken great pride in the work we have done over the past several years. Some of this work has led to national-level recognition at the highest levels of our industry which is extremely rewarding for our team. What makes this more special to us is that our creative and strategic contributions have enabled patients and practitioners to realize and utilize previously unknown digital communications resources, which ultimately impacts improved patient journeys. We are very proud of our continued collaboration with NHF.”
CSR “pays off” in many ways. Researchers denote the positive effects of perceived CSR on organizational commitment and employees’ job satisfaction. Each of these studies have relied quite heavily on social identity theory to explain the effect of CSR on employee outcomes, concentrating on organizational commitment. Through our own empiric evidence it is clear as we move to more closely integrating our CSR that we are indeed taking the much needed bold steps in developing the next generation of corporate philanthropy with each commitment and engagement with our staff. Through recent employee feedback surveys we have found that our CSR resonates deep within the soul of each of our current staff and it is our hope that through our past work, our recent success, and our ongoing dedication that we will not simply be recognized but retain and attract talent that share our philosophy and focus to giving unto others.