Marie-Eve Boisvert on Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy
Corporate Social Responsibility is a topic that Behaviour’s VP Communications, Marie-Eve Boisvert, knows a thing or two about. Prior to joining Behaviour in 2018, Marie-Eve co-founded a startup that works with companies to develop their own social and environmental impact strategies.
“I always wanted to have a positive social impact in the community on a personal level but also through the companies in which I have worked for. I am proud to say that Behaviour has a corporate social conscience and doing our part for the community are values that are deeply rooted in our company,” she says.
With Behaviour steadily increasing its annual commitment to community organizations in Montreal – the budget for 2021-22 is $1 million – it was clear a strategy to guide the company’s CSR efforts was needed.
Marie-Eve was also acutely aware of the fact most employees in the video game industry are under the age of 40, a demographic with a demonstrably strong interest in social issues.
“It’s not that CSR doesn’t matter to older employees – it does – but CSR is really a driving interest of the new generation of employees. We see this every day,” Marie-Eve observes.
A CSR strategy that involves employees and listens to their concerns can contribute big time to helping employees feel engaged, happy and motivated. Behaviour took this to heart and began the process of developing its CSR strategy in 2020 by surveying its team members to gain a better understanding of their priorities. Among the questions, employees were asked to rank Behaviour’s existing philanthropic priorities.
“The findings gave us a clear picture of where our team’s interests aligned with those of the company and allowed us to focus our CSR efforts, maximize the impact and target our donations budget accordingly,” Marie-Eve notes.
The survey reaffirmed Behaviour’s existing commitments to Education, Health and Sustainability and led to the creation of a fourth pillar dedicated to Entrepreneurship. Behaviour also created a fifth pillar, the Open Initiatives Fund, that allows individual team members to request a grant of up to $5,000 for a local organization of their choosing.
To plan and enact Behaviour’s actions under the Education, Health, Sustainability and Entrepreneurship pillars, Marie-Eve’s team established a committee of employees to run each one. Each committee has carte blanche to establish its priorities, goals and key performance indicators for the year.
“Agency is really key here,” Marie-Eve says. “We want each committee to feel empowered to decide what’s really important and come up with the plan for getting there. We tell them the sky is the limit. My team’s job is to facilitate and provide the guardrails to keep them on track.”
In closing, she points out, “whether through our internal fundraising campaign BeGenerous, by offering game production workshops to young people as part of a school perseverance program, to the initiatives of our or the donations we make each year to community organizations, giving back to the community is something we firmly believe in.”