Sleep Out Challenge: How Social Responsibility Could Help Employee Engagement

What’s the Sleep Out challenge?

This February, teams around the UK, companies and schools have a chance to raise awareness over the problem of homelessness, thanks to the Sleep Out events supported by Centre Point. The initiative aims to shed some light on the issue by encouraging participants of the challenge to swap their bed for a sleeping bag and spend a night away from the comfort of their homes. 


Let’s talk numbers

According to recent research from Shelter, 271,000 people were recorded as homeless in England, with 123,000 being children. Of these, 2,400 are ‘sleeping rough’ at any given time, meaning that they are sleeping on streets, parks, and anywhere else that offers temporary shelter for the night. 


While sleeping rough is known as the most visible form of homelessness, it’s not the only one. Some people might not know about the additional 15,000 in hostels or supported accommodation, with nearly 250,000 living in temporary accommodation – here, it could be worth noting that these numbers also exclude those who haven’t officially submitted their change of housing circumstances, and/or are at risk of homelessness in general. 


How does Asda help?

This year, Asda stores are getting behind the Crisis Christmas campaign, which is being extended into the rest of 2023. The goal is to get rough sleepers off the streets and into somewhere warm, especially during the coldest weeks of the winter. Along with other companies like IKEA and The Good Things Foundation, Asda have already donated hundreds of essentials like food and toiletries to support the efforts of the charity initiative.


What does that mean for companies?

Charity work has been proven to boost workplace wellbeing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) helps to keep employee satisfaction and engagement at high levels, with them feeling happier when they are given a chance to contribute to their community and achieve positive impact through their organisation. As a result, many organisations have recently started to merge CSR into the core of their HR initiatives, to not only do their bit and create positive change to the community, but to also improve staff morale, too. 


If you’re interested in merging CSR into your HR agenda and getting them to work together as one, why not start by having a look through this resource here


How can you be more socially responsible?

There are several ways you can be more socially responsible. All that’s needed is to just begin with a little bit of planning: 


  • Establish your values and ethics: Revisiting your company’s mission and values is a good start. Are they still relevant to the industry, your company size, and the work you are doing? A good way to approach this could be to think about how you would like them to affect your company culture. 
  • Set goals: When establishing your mission and values, try creating SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals. These will help you create an achievable action plan, for both the short and long-term. Setting small milestones will also encourage everyone in the team to celebrate your efforts every step of the way. 
  • Focus your efforts:  Rather than dividing your resources and energy that might go into several different directions, try choosing one mission to place your emphasis on. Documenting your commitment is important, too. This doesn’t always have to be for your customers to see on your website or social media platforms, but instead, for your team to refer back to (and even be proud of!) internally. You might be surprised about the ideas around the office that documenting your progress could inspire. 
  • Spread the word: Educating your team on the issues your CSR agenda covers could not only help them find their place in the company, but could also help them understand what you do and why you do it, which could be a great starting point for them when it comes to creating positive change. Think of newsletters, webinars, and training sessions, and share with them a few insights that they might resonate with. 
  • Foster partnerships: It’s one thing to believe in a cause and another to know how you can work towards it. Thankfully, charitable organisations can help guide you through how to do this, and keep you updated every step of the way if you ever wish to work together with them in the long run. 
  • Donate as you see fit: every company might prefer a different way to contribute. You can volunteer your time, participate in activations like Sleep Out to raise money or donate. When it comes to donating, many of them will accept different forms of donations, like living essentials, direct subscriptions, and even prepaid gift cards  – this is especially for the charities who help to tackle homelessness. 


Before making a donation, be sure to research whether your chosen charity accepts the specific form of donation you are considering.


Redeemable in over 600 Asda stores across the UK, an Asda For Business gift card or e-gift card could be a great way for charities to get exactly what it is they need – like groceries, household items and clothing – all together in one place. A small act of kindness like this could have a huge impact on someone in need, and we’re here to help you make it happen.