According to a recent study by ManpowerGroup, the lack of skilled talent in the U.S. has made it difficult for employers to fill many jobs. This imbalance has created a job gap that many companies are developing strategies to address. SAP, a leading provider of enterprise software and services for managing accounting, distribution, human resources, manufacturing functions and technology, created its Veterans to Work program to leverage its expertise and create meaningful opportunities for U.S. veterans. Tyrone Webb Jr., Program Manager, Platform Solutions Group, shared some of SAP’s strategies for reaching veterans and engaging employees in the program.
Research has found that professionals who are required to track billable hours are often less willing to volunteer. The pressures of meeting certain quotas can deter professional services firms from taking the time to give back to the community. Quite the opposite trend can be seen at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, however, an international law firm that focuses on intellectual property; corporate, finance, and real estate; and litigation. Whitney Deal, Director, Corporate Citizenship, attributes this trend to the culture of giving back which has been ingrained in the firm’s 153 year-old foundation.
A challenge that corporate citizenship practitioners often face is how to engage their customers in their citizenship activities. Developing these relationships can strengthen customer loyalty and contribute to a brand’s reputation. eBay, which provides a way for consumers to connect with cause through the eBay Giving Works platform and raise valuable funds for charity by buying and selling goods, has not only been successful in engaging customers in its giving programs, but has extended its reach to nonprofit organizations, brands, celebrities and the general public.
Today, most business leaders recognize the importance and value of adopting a formal sustainability platform. According to the Value of sustainability reporting, in addition to the cost savings, effective sustainability practices improve operational efficiencies and natural resource stewardship. However, one of the main challenges is ensuring employees and team leaders incorporate sustainability in their day-to-day decisions in the workplace.
With employees in 30 countries across the world, Alcoa is truly a global company. Given the extent of its reach, Alcoa Foundation, the charitable arm of Alcoa, designs its community giving platform with this global audience in mind, developing scalable programs in partnership with select nonprofit organizations. In September 2013, Alcoa Foundation announced a global initiative for unemployed youth in ten Alcoa communities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Jamaica, Spain, United Kingdom and United States. Through the Internships for Unemployed Youth Program, participating youth will receive the education and training necessary to pursue a career in manufacturing. Suzanne van de Raadt, Global Communications Manager, Alcoa Foundation, provided some insight into the history of the program and the tools Alcoa has used to manage its execution across geographies.
What started as one employee’s desire to have a more balanced work-life arrangement has now evolved into a strategic business initiative that helps Rothstein Kass retain top talent and develop stronger relationships with key clientele. It all began in 2007, when , a principal specializing in audit, general accounting and business advisory consulting, identified the need for an initiative focused on creating leadership opportunities for female associates.
When Robert Musslewhite, CEO of The Advisory Board Company, presented the 2013 challenge of 100% participation in service, $1 million in nonprofit benefit, and 10,000 lives touched, his employees responded. At The Advisory Board Company, employees are encouraged to develop as professionals and lead with both their heads and their hearts. The company culture is driven by a desire to not only go beyond every expectation to serve mission-driven organizations, but to do so with an understanding of the importance of its nonprofit partners’ work. Because of this service-driven mindset, combined with a collaborative approach focused on truly understanding all facets of a challenging issue, they have built deep relationships with their partners.
As more and more companies try to connect their social and environmental impacts to the bottom line, measurement and accountability are becoming a standard. One of the ways to accomplish this is by formally accounting for your company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts and integrating those metrics into the company’s annual financial reports. Dogeared, Inc. decided to formally incorporate ESG standards and transparency into its business by becoming a Certified B Corporation. Given the growing community of B Corporations around the globe, the Center reached out to co-founder, Merlin Clarke, who explained the process of becoming a B Corporation and how it has impacted Dogeared’s corporate citizenship goals.
Now entering its third year, the Skills-Based Volunteer Program at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) is focused on making high impact, long-term progressive change for select nonprofit partners. To meet this end, BCBSMA recognizes the importance of leveraging local talent when implementing an impactful corporate citizenship initiative. This talent forms the foundation of the Skills-Based Volunteer Program in which recruited employees are paired with local nonprofit organizations that have a need for their particular skills and experience. Associates provide a wide variety of skills and expertise in traditional business functions, including human resources, finance and operations.
In partnership with the Human Resources Department, the Corporate Citizenship team established this program as a way to build the internal capacity of its nonprofit partners while creating an outlet to develop and showcase its employees’ core competencies. “We wanted to deepen BCBSMA’s support of its community partners by leveraging our most strategic investment – our associates, their skills, and their expertise,” explained Lucy Darragh, Director of Corporate Citizenship at BCBSMA. To fully realize the potential of such an initiative, BCBSMA reached out to Common Impact, a local nonprofit organization that facilitates cross-sector partnerships designed to tackle community challenges.
The definition of what it means to be a good corporate citizen has evolved over the years. It varies according to a company’s resources, giving priorities, corporate culture, and even with time. Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM) underwent a period of internal reflection as it sought to develop a more strategic corporate citizenship program that produced greater impact on the local community.