In a world where businesses and individuals alike have the power to shape societies, it is never too late to start doing something meaningful today. You can have impactful changes in society and leave your mark with unforgettable memories, like the smiles of people right into your eyes.
At NMQ Digital, we believe in the value of caring and sharing. For us, what matters most is the human connection. While delivering value to the businesses, we also deliver value to the people.
We also believe that the initial spark for social responsibility is a sense of responsibility. As individuals connected in society, contributing to positive change not only feels fulfilling but also broadens our horizons.
Last week, we invited two representatives of our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) team for an interview, where we asked them about their past and future plans. Both Buse and Duygu are currently part of the operations team (Buse from the CRM & Email Marketing team, and Duygu from the Data & Analytics team respectively) and are volunteering for CSR responsibility on top of their daily tasks. Before we start, kudos to all the CSR team volunteers who are making an impact for themselves and us as well.🎉
So, here we go;
1: What is CSR and why does it matter? What does the CSR team do in general?
CSR, or Corporate Social Responsibility, is a business approach that aims to contribute positively to society beyond its financial success. It involves integrating ethical, social, and environmental concerns into a company's operations and interactions. CSR goes beyond legal obligations, encouraging businesses to actively pursue initiatives that benefit the community, the environment, and other stakeholders.
Due to the latest surveys, consumers are becoming more aware of CSR practices and their impact on society and the environment. And they increasingly seek transparency in how companies implement CSR initiatives, wanting clear communication about the tangible outcomes of these efforts.
At this point, social media platforms continue to play a significant role in shaping customer perceptions and discussions around CSR, influencing purchasing decisions. Younger generations, such as Millennials and Generation Z, often prioritize companies that demonstrate a commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
2: What does the CSR team do for NMQ Digital? How does it work?
As NMQ CSR, our initiative was launched in 2022 with big dreams. It matters because we are all part of this world, and we need to take care of it. We are sensitive about different topics, so we discuss everything during our meetings to make the best out of it.
There are around 5 volunteers in our team. So, we manage CSR-related topics by balancing with our actual duties, and prioritizing work, of course.
For example, the time I spend on CSR-related work changes a lot from one week to another. We try to help each other out by splitting the responsibilities according to our workload during that time. Some weeks, I spend maybe 5-6 hours, and some weeks I don’t have any time to allocate for CSR. I try to be adaptable to make things work on both sides. We would love to have more volunteers on our team, everyone’s welcome :)
3: Can you tell us a little bit more about how it all started? What was the trigger?
Feeling responsible is the first trigger when it comes to social responsibility. We are all living in a society and as human beings, we are socially connected to each other. Thus, when we feel we helped something to improve, we feel better. Just like this, when we help someone else or get someone’s help when we need it, it expands the worlds we are creating within ourselves!
In 2018, small steps started in the context of social responsibility at NMQ, and in time, some of the activities were done without an umbrella of a group so they were independent activities. Afterwards, our colleagues launched the CSR team to be organized more and brainstorming started for the activities and priorities to be done in the future.
4: Can you give some examples from previous activities to make it more concrete?
From the beginning, we planned various activities to get people’s attention to global issues. We thought our CSR team could help out with what we feel responsible for. Thus, we started thinking about what we could do. Unfortunately, a big earthquake happened in Turkey, and we changed our plans and postponed them, our main focus was to help the children who were affected by the earthquake in the zone, which was pretty huge. So, we organized a fair event and collected more than 450+ books and notebooks and sent them to a library of a newly constructed school in Hatay. Maybe Duygu you’d like to explain our other big event?
Sure, thanks, Buse! We had another significant event in October 2023. We volunteered for Çorbada Tuzun Olsun, an NGO giving aid to homeless individuals in İstanbul. We cooked and later delivered the meals to the people in need. It was very fulfilling to see we made a positive difference in those people’s lives. This may be considered small, but it’s substantial for them.
It was really nice to be there all together as NMQ volunteers. I’d like to thank again all those who gave support. The organization not only provides meals every day, but it also assists in every other way possible. We’re glad to have met them and learned about their activities and struggles.
5: The way you speak and your eyes sparkle, it seems these initiations are beyond just helping others. It feels like there is more to the story. Can you share how it makes you feel?
I believe taking part in social responsibility activities brings new perspectives. You get to see and learn things that otherwise probably wouldn’t be possible. You face new challenges and work with diverse groups of people in some activities. This allows you to grow and discover new things about yourself. It also helps you understand the value of gratitude and reshape your outlook on life to some extent and reinforce a sense of thankfulness.
Yes, it may seem hard to make time for social responsibility. We’re in a fast-paced working environment, sometimes leaving us very little time even for ourselves. Even so, I think it’s worth the effort in the end. I’m sure there are lots of people in our company who do or have done things to help those in need within our society and would agree with this opinion!
When I was little, I knitted, sewed, and made jewelry to sell in kermis with my mom and the NGO she volunteered in. I grew up in a mindset where I felt responsible for what was going on in the world.
Starting from high school, I joined various NGOs and took part in many activities. It feels a bit of relief to me when I contribute to something. Maybe one person cannot change many things but when you come together with volunteers who share the same vision and goals, it gives power to the person!
When we work in a company, it does not mean that we are giving up our other responsibilities, so we can both work at the same time and share tasks with colleagues but for different aims! We never know what the future is going to provide us, so it feels good to have a positive social impact. You know what they say, sharing is caring.
6: Are there any challenges you face while executing any CSR activity?
Just like any other event, participation cannot be figured out beforehand. Sometimes people really want to take part but cancel their participation just before the event. So it becomes harder for us to distribute the responsibility but we somehow manage to handle it with the help of active participants. Also, we are trying to do our daily tasks first and then organize events at CSR, so sometimes we are all booked up to be active as well.
When we have an idea about organizing a CSR event, we try to plan as detailed as possible. Then, we make sure that it’s feasible by communicating with the necessary people in the company. If the event is in collaboration with another organization, we have to check with them frequently to make sure everything is going as planned. Of course, there might be some hiccups along the way. We do our best to find a workaround or compensate with minimum impact on the event. We got used to motivating ourselves by focusing on the end result, which is coming together to help those in need.
7: What does the future look like? Any planned activities?
Of course. As I mentioned before, there are some plans that we planned for 2023 but could not make due to emergencies. This year we are planning to take action in more than one city that our colleagues are attending. Let’s not give spoilers but I can say that our activities will be mainly focused on reducing plastic consumption and making our neighborhoods cleaner places!
We also want to repeat our Çorbada Tuzun Olsun event this year, hopefully with more volunteers! For most other activities, we need to consider our budget carefully and plan accordingly. So, those are not fully shaped yet, but look out for the announcements!
8: Any last comments on social responsibility?
It was really nice coming together to talk about social responsibility today, thanks for the opportunity. 😊 I hope we provided some useful insights for those who were interested and joined to listen. Have a wonderful rest of your day everyone!
As Duygu mentioned, this is voluntary work and we are all trying to support as much as possible during our daily tasks 😊 So it would be perfect to extend our CSR team with new people who are into social responsibility. Thank you for hosting today’s webinar and wishing you all an amazing day.
For those who want to watch the recording, here it is!