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What To Expect From Corporate Volunteering

Not sure if it is right for your business? Below is just some of what you can expect from corporate volunteering.

Amy Galbraith

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corporate-volunteering

Volunteering might not be on your company radar, but it should be. Not only will you be able to help a cause close to your heart but you can build trust in your audience and use your volunteering experience to your marketing team’s advantage. They can create  social media posts about the experience and build a buzz to show that your company actually cares about the world.

Corporate volunteering is different to “normal” volunteering in that your employees or your company will set up a charity drive or event for a specific cause, such as aiding those who suffered through the recent tsunami in Indonesia. Not sure if it is right for your business? Below is just some of what you can expect from corporate volunteering.

What to pack

If your employees have decided to help with a disaster relief in a different country , such as relieving those who were injured by the tsunami in Indonesia, they will need to know exactly what to pack.

Your employees will need to pack the following in order to have a successful volunteering experience:

You can ask the volunteering organisation for anything else you might need to pack. This is a great opportunity to invest in some branding on clothing for your employees to wear for marketing photographic opportunities.

Related: Richard Branson on the Business Benefits of Volunteering

What does the day look like?

Your employees are likely already used to having to wake up early in order to get to work on time. But they might not be expecting such an early rise when they take part in a volunteering programme. Helping people deal with the after-effects in Indonesia after the earthquake takes long hours.

Many volunteering programmes start the day at about 5:30 to 6:00 am, which can be a drastic change for those who do not rise as early. Your team will eat breakfast at around 7:00 am and then travel to the volunteering site  to start the day. Lunch is usually at 12:00 pm and the work will continue until 4:00 or 5:00 pm. After this, you will have dinner and can spend time reflecting about the day, which can be a fantastic team bonding experience for your employees.

You might not have any luxuries

Corporate volunteering is different from solo volunteering in many ways but there is one similarity: you might not have any luxuries during your stay. This is especially true of disaster areas, such as what is left behind after the tsunami in Indonesia.

The hotel your employees will be staying in might be very basic and you may have to use very basic amenities. Be sure to alert your staff to this fact and ensure that everyone packs plug adapters, bottled water and water purification tablets to be on the safe side. Your staff will be wary at first but it will be an experience to remember regardless of not having their home comforts around them.

Knowing what food to eat

It is always advisable to know what food to eat on your volunteer trip, especially if you will be travelling to a foreign country. You will likely be served local dishes cooked in traditional methods so you will need to be sure that you know exactly what is going into the dish and how it is cooked.

If any of your employees have dietary requirements you will need to alert the volunteering programme about  this. Corporate volunteering programmes usually house their volunteers at hotels in the area, which  means that food safety regulations are higher. But you should still ask to see a menu and question any dishes that seem unfamiliar or that you think might be harmful to your employees. The tsunami in Indonesia and earthquake might have caused damage to water systems which might mean food cannot be properly washed, so be sure to wash fruits and vegetables with bottled water.

Related: 10 Tips To Motivate Employees Without Resorting To Money

What to do in downtime

A volunteer does not have to work 24/7 during their programme. You will have some downtime but it is important to use this time wisely. Instead of spending time watching television in the hotel lounge, you could go out and experience the local culture and people in order to learn more about where you are.

You could also spend time in your downtime posting photographs of your volunteering experience to your social media platforms in order to keep your clients and customers updated. You can also use this as an opportunity to educate them on the cause, such as the devastation of the tsunami in Indonesia and what is being done to save and help the people.

Prepare for the experience of a lifetime

While corporate volunteering does tie in with helping to improve your business and branding, it should not be taken lightly. It is a chance to help a cause that your employees hold dear or something that you feel needs to be addressed in your community.

You will need to pack the right equipment, be prepared for early rising and possibly late evenings and you will need to be sure that the food you will be eating is safe for everyone to enjoy. Despite not having many luxuries available to you, you will find that your volunteering experience is one to remember for years to come.

Amy Galbraith is a junior writer at Rogerwilco. She has had a passion for professional writing since graduating from the University of KwaZulu-Natal with a Masters degree in English Literature. She now writes compelling copy for an exciting variety of clients, and enjoys writing on topics including education, finance and millennial issues.

Leading

How To, In Practice, Distinguish Between Executive, Non-Executive And Independent Directors And Their Functions

Learn more about the differences in executive and non-executive directors.

RSM

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Definition of a director in terms of the Companies Act

Section 1 of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 (Companies Act) defines a Director as “a member of the board of a company, as contemplated in section 66, or an alternate director of a company and includes any person occupying the position of director or alternate director, by whatever name designated”.

Powers of directors

Section 66 of the Companies Act determines that the business and affairs of the company must be managed by or under the direction of its board and that the board has the authority to exercise all of the power and perform any of the functions of the company, except to the extent that the Companies Act or the Company’s Memorandum of Incorporation provides otherwise.

The board of directors, for the first time in our current Companies Act has been assigned the legal duty and responsibility and play a very important role in managing the affairs of the company and making vital decisions on behalf of the company.

Related: What You Need To Know Before Transitioning From Business Owner To Director

Number of directors required on a board

In the case of a private company, or a personal liability company, the board must consist of at least one director and the case of a public company, or non-profit company, the board must consist of at least three directors. A JSE listed company requires at least four directors. The company’s Memorandum of Incorporation may however specify a higher number, substituting the minimum number of directors required.

How to distinguish between executive, non-executive and independent directors and their functions

A clear distinction is noticeable between the different types of directors in practice, even though the Act does not distinguish between executive, non-executive and independent directors.

The below table gives a clear understanding of the differences between executive and non-executive directors:

Executive directors

Non-executive directors

Member of the board of directors with directors’ duties.

Part of the executive team, as an employee of the company and generally under a service contract with the company. Not an employee of the company.
Involved in the day-to-day management of the company. Not involved in the day-to-day management of the company.
In addition to a salary, does not receive directors’ fees. May receive Directors’ fees, but does not receive a salary.
Shareholders are not involved in approving their salary packages. Shareholders must approve their fees by way of special resolution, in advance.
Employee entitlements apply, such as annual and sick leave. No entitlements apply.
Has an intimate knowledge of the workings of the company. They contribute to the development of management strategies and monitor the activities of the executive directors.
They carry an added responsibility. Entrusted with ensuring that the information laid before the board by management is an accurate reflection of their understanding of the affairs of the company. Plays an important role in providing objective judgement, independent of management on issues the company are facing.

 

Independent, non-executive director

An independent, non-executive director does not have a relationship, directly or indirectly with the company other than his or her directorship. They should be free of any relationship that could materially interfere with the independence process of his or her judgement and they do not represent the shareholders of the company.

An independent, non-executive director should be evaluated on an annual basis to determine if they are still considered independent.

Related: The Role, Responsibilities and Liabilities Facing Non-Executive Directors

The role of these directors

All directors should apply objective judgment and an independent state of mind, regardless of the classification as an executive, non-executive or independent non-executive director.

Executive directors may be appointed as non-executive directors on other boards if this does not influence their current position and is in accordance with company policy.

Before a director accepts the appointment, they should be familiar with their duties and responsibilities and be provided with the necessary training and advice.

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Leading

Managing Your Priorities And Learning To Say No

How you use your time determines the degree of meaning or fulfillment you have and the money you make.

Dr John Demartini

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saying-no

Getting more done is not about managing your time; it is about how you focus your attention and intention during the time you have. When you focus on scheduling your day to do high priority actions, they are more likely to get done.

Since you can have more than one kind of high priority action, it is wise to define them accordingly by further prioritising your high priorities. High priority items or actions can fall under one or more of the following categories:

  • Those needing to be strategically planned (working on the business)
  • Those needing to be done in relation to yourself
  • Those needing to be done in relation to your employees
  • Those needing to be done in relation to your clients, customers, patients…
  • Those needing to be done that are creative (new divisions, services, products, markets…)
  • Those needing to be delegated outside your company (outsourced)
  • Those needing to be delegated inside your company (insourced).

It is essential to master the art of saying no to anything less important.

When you are unclear about what your true highest priority or business mission is, distractions can take you ‘off track’ and consume your time, attention, energy, focus, power of concentration and productive capacity.

Related: How To Say No Nicely

Knowing what your highest priority business mission and primary objectives are prevents you from being as easily distracted by every so-called ‘opportunity’ that comes along. It allows you to be more discerning about the activities you choose to take on board and those you discard. Clarity of mission gives you the ability to ignore distractions, and that can be incredibly inspiring and empowering.

You cannot please everyone so don’t waste your time trying. Continually saying yes because you can’t bear the short-term pain of saying no will cost you greater opportunities and lead you to bite off more than you can chew. Your time is finite.

 

Block out all less important distractions. Give them up. Embrace your trade-off.

Try eliminating, or scaling back some of your activities to determine if reducing or eliminating them makes any real difference in your results. This also helps you determine which actions are truly the most productive priorities. Deliberately eliminate or at least reduce your trivial, unimportant, unnecessary and irrelevant actions. Your intentional limits can help you become more limitless.

Sticking to your own higher priorities each day raises your self-worth. Take command of your time before others do and tell them the truth, or they may possibly keep demanding from you. Your integrity and, at times tactful bluntness, will allow you to get your most important job done. Your true friends or colleagues will respect your time and your priorities.

Since your work will expand or contract to fill the time allotted (Parkinson’s law), if you don’t fill your space and time with high priorities they can become filled with low priorities. And, if you don’t consume your energy and material resources with high priorities uses they can become consumed by low priority ones. If you don’t intensify your day with inspired actions things can slow down. Your time x your intensity will determine your results.

Related: I Started Saying ‘No’ To These 6 Things. My Life And My Business Got A Lot Better

Many distractions that are being initiated by others are often opportunistic in nature. Many are simply others trying to sell you something – an idea, a viewpoint, an opinion, a friendship – in exchange for your valuable life and time. Simply being aware of what is being sold allows you to be more deliberate in deciding whether you want to buy or spend time on it.

Gracefully, respectfully and reasonably saying no, may temporarily disappoint the opportunist, but eventually it will lead them to respecting and appreciating you even more. It shows that you are a professional more than just an amateur and that you value yourself and your time more than their distractions. It is wiser to have a long-term gain in respect than a short-term popularity.

So ask yourself every morning what exactly is the highest priority action step I can take today to help me fulfill my most purposeful, meaningful, productive and profitable dream tomorrow.

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(Infographic) The 6 Best Ways Leaders Can Inspire Their Teams

Being an inspirational leader takes empathy, centredness and clarity.

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business-inspiration

One of the most effective traits of a leader is their ability to inspire and motivate a team. As a leader, you have to lead by example and the tone you set will resonate with the rest of your employees.

So what’s the best way to inspire your team? For starters, show your team that you care just as much about them individually as you do about the business. That means asking questions about their personal lives and getting to know them outside of the office. Lead with both your heart and head, thinking equally about your employees and the business, and balancing empathy with management. Not only that, but you should continuously find ways to support the professional development of your employees, listen and learn to what they have to say and value the input of each and every member.

Having trouble effectively inspiring and leading your team? Don’t worry, according to science, leadership is something that can be learned. In fact, only 24 percent of leadership skills are genetic, and the remaining 76 percent are learned. Overall, the top trait of inspirational leaders is centredness, meaning the ability to stay calm under stress, empathise, listen carefully and remain present. After centredness comes clarity, balance and self-awareness.

To learn more about inspirational leadership, check out InitiativeOne’s infographic below.

inspirational-leaders-infographic

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

 

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