As a finalist of the 2019 Genesis Prize, Angela, was asked to share how Catalyser makes workspaces happier and healthier.
Angela Kwan is the co-founder of Catalyser, a software that allows large firms to coordinate their employee’s charitable activities. This software is described as an ‘all-in-one’ program which aims to achieve greater employee engagement and social impact success.
In August, more than 180 CEOs from some of the world’s leading employers, including JP Morgan Chase, Apple and Amazon signed a Statement on the Purpose of Corporation that outlines a new framework for business success based not just on shareholder returns but also commitments to supporting communities and investing in employees.
As the co-founder of Catalyser, I can confirm that this statement reaffirms the timeliness of our mission to help people to ‘change the world from their workplace’ with software that makes it easy for companies to engage their staff in community activities and report on their impact.
The concept of corporates ‘giving back’ to the community through corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs isn’t new. What needs refreshing is CSR strategy and management. Strategically, CSR programs should be investments that generate business return, and not just donations that are discretionary costs.
A powerful example of how CSR investments can generate business value is through employee attraction, retention and engagement.
Research shows that turnover is reduced for employees actively engaged in company giving and volunteering efforts. On the management side, we need to realise that scaling programs and reporting requires systems. Catalyser has facilitated more than $5 million in donations of funds and volunteering time, including managing annual volunteer days where companies mobilise thousands of staff across multiple offices to give back together. Without specialised technology, community programs simply cannot be scaled or tracked.
With the growth of movements like Pledge 1% (where companies like Atlassian and Salesforce allocate 1 percent of equity, time, product or profit for the community) and more companies integrating their businesses with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we have the opportunity to align the future of work with a better future for all.