There is a lot of discussion about the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its impact on local communities, a company’s image and even its bottom line. There is an area, however, though equally significant a component as the others, that is often overlooked in this conversation. That is the way in which CSR strengthens a company’s culture and offers associates (employees) at all levels an opportunity to become more engaged.
I am the senior manager of community relations at MSC Industrial Supply Co., one of the nation’s largest direct marketers and premier distributors of Metalworking & Maintenance, Repair and Operations ("MRO") supplies. I work out of our company’s headquarters in Melville, NY, and have seen firsthand the way in which our community engagement programming has benefited our corporate culture. But let’s take a step back. While giving back has always been one of our core values, and an important element of MSC’s culture, in 2005 we decided to formalize this tradition through the creation of the Community Relations Department, which coordinates all of the company’s CSR programming.