Long-term sustainability has taken a backseat to short-term profitability since the 1970s when the quarterly earnings report became standard operating procedure and the horizon of return was shortened to that period. Today, however, the global community is shouldering collectively the burden of looming and interconnected universal challenges, such as climate change, food security, humanitarian crises, and inequality. Because of their scale and complexity, these issues cannot be solved by one government or one company or even one industry or one sector. Instead, they demand a concerted effort that harnesses the best resources and talents of governments, NGOs, the private sector, and civil society.
To maximize results from corporate citizenship investments, CSR professionals must be sure to measure and evaluate the impacts created by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities. By properly measuring impact, companies gain the data and insights necessary to communicate maximum business and social value to stakeholders, strengthen corporate citizenship programs, and demonstrate a strategic link between corporate citizenship and business success. However, strategically measuring corporate citizenship means moving beyond the reporting of activities and outputs, and instead emphasizing outcomes and long-term impacts.
For an in-depth training on how to prepare senior leaders to engage in skills-based volunteering in the local community, take the course: Nonprofit Board Service: Getting Your Team Ready to Serve on Feb 7-8, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA.
Serving on a nonprofit board is more than a high-impact way for executives to perform community service— it also provides benefits to the executive’s company.
Nonprofit boards provide an excellent, low-cost training opportunity for senior leaders. Executives that serve on nonprofit boards are able to expand their skillset by applying their expertise in a new context, all while engaging with and learning from people and communities from different professional and personal backgrounds.
At its core, nonprofit board service is a specialized type of skills-based volunteering, which is found to add value to the workplace. According to Deloitte, 91 percent of HR professionals agree that skills-based volunteering builds and hones business and leadership skills. Regina McNally, vice president of strategic workforce programs at State Street, summarized this effect: “Those [that engage in skills-based volunteering] learn in a whole new environment to let their brain work in a different way and bring those new skillsets back to the office.”
Every company aspires to have an engaged workforce in which employees are involved, focused, and committed to their jobs. Engaged employees are beneficial to businesses because they work harder, produce stronger results, and stay with the company longer.,,
One of the greatest challenges of employee engagement is to identify each employee’s needs and motivations in order to determine how to best engage them. Complicating this challenge is the fact that some companies may have a disparate workforce that requires different engagement tactics.
For example, research indicates that employees at different stages of their career pursue certain engagements opportunities while rejecting others (see Figure A). Employees in the early stage of their career are interested primarily in opportunities for recognition and networking in order to establish themselves and advance their career. While they don’t have much money to donate at this point in their lives, they’re likely to show up at volunteer opportunities—especially if senior leaders are present. On the other hand, mid-career employees tend to be more pressed for time, sandwiched by caretaking responsibilities for both children and aging family members. These employees prefer opportunities for recognition, education, and getting their family involved. Finally, late-career employees are motivated by the opportunity to build a legacy or mentor a younger colleague and, because their salaries have peaked, they are more likely to contribute financially to important causes.
Today, leading companies understand that they must look beyond their own operations when assessing and addressing their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts. To deliver maximum business and social returns, they should consider and incorporate their supply chains when developing corporate citizenship programs.
Those that do are presented with the opportunity to address inefficiencies and risks—many of which could have severe ramifications to a firm’s reputation, as research finds that consumers are likely to hold a firm responsible for unsustainable activity regardless of where it occurs within the supply chain. A 2014 study finds that, while the severity of the incident increases backlash, the relationship the supplier has to the firm (direct vs. indirect) and the importance of the supplied product in no way mediates consumer anger.[i] That means that the behaviors of even a supplier that makes a negligible part of a product could pose a serious threat to company reputation and profit.
Topics: Supply Chain Management
Corporate citizenship initiatives focused on veteran hiring and engagement are becoming increasingly popular because they provide a win-win situation for companies and military families alike: Veterans provide companies with valuable transferable skills and consistently prove to be dependable and hardworking team players, while companies provide veterans with the stability and purpose to help their families thrive.
Topics: Corporate Community Involvement