Corporate Citizenship Matters

Companies that disregard corporate citizenship are missing opportunities with both their employees and their external stakeholders. Your employees will embrace the opportunity to contribute beyond their day-to-day job responsibilities. Their engagement will reflect pride in your corporate culture. Your recruitment efforts will also benefit from your social responsibility reputation. Your company will attract candidates with the characteristics you aspire your employees to have. Likewise, your client community will respect your dedication to improving their environment and their standard of living. Developing and implementing a well-planned corporate citizenship practice is a win-win situation.

Employee Engagement

A corporate citizenship strategy must include guidelines for your employees. Treat the citizenship plan in the same manner you would treat any benefit or perk that you offer to your staff.

Create a corporate citizenship committee made up of employees interested in coordinating plans. A well-represented group will provide a variety of ideas that will appeal to your staff. This will ensure interest and high participation in your events. A variety of skill sets, such as finance, sales, and technology, will provide the cross-talents you need for success. Be sure to include a member of marketing or PR in the committee in order to most effectively communicate your accomplishments.

How do you engage your employees? A successful option allocates work time for volunteer time. Approve time out of the office for employees to dedicate a half day or full day to work with a local nonprofit organization. Communicate upcoming local events to your staff via an internal blog or newsletter. An event representative can coordinate with the local organization and provide instructions to your staff volunteers. Consider additional ways of encouraging employee participation in your community, such as acknowledging volunteer efforts made by staff members outside of the corporate citizenship committee plan.

Report ongoing information to your employees regarding your corporate citizenship policy and event results. Be sure to focus education on staff members who will discuss the program with clients, prospects, and future employees. Sharing the success of your corporate citizenship program will boost employee commitment. This corporate culture is truly an asset when recruiting new hires.

Community Care

A well-planned corporate citizenship program is a positive addition to your reputation. When creating your corporate citizenship plan, be sure to select meaningful societal issues that will resonate with your high-value market.

The social causes you can choose from are plentiful. With a well-organized committee in place, you do not need to focus your efforts on only one or two causes. Having said that, don’t spread yourselves too thin or you may weaken the significance in what you’re doing. It’s most effective to choose causes that relate to your products or services or those that have a personal significance to your company. You may also want to allocate funds for emergency situations, such as hurricanes or other natural disasters, that affect the regions in which you do business.

Remember one thing related to social causes: unless you are a religious or political based business, avoid religious or political nonprofits so that you do not run the risk of offending any of your stakeholders. Many of these organizations are amazing, but recommend that employees support them on their own time.

You may also choose to focus your social responsibility on reducing your company’s foot print or other worthy environmental issues. This is an effective strategy for manufacturers or companies that offer services. Environmental volunteerism is also a great opportunity to organize your own event. Set up a local clean the beach or clean the park day. Work with your town authorities to find out their special needs, and also to be sure you’re following proper procedures such as waste removal or equipment usage.

Finally, partner with experts. Reach out to food banks, senior facilities, medical professionals, or other organizations that can work with you to drive your corporate citizenship goals forward.

A Winning Plan

Have a core mission. Know what you expect to achieve from your citizenship efforts. Your corporate citizenship plan should be explicit and include a plan budget, employee perks, an event calendar, and communication strategy. This will result in a true commitment on the part of your company’s leadership.

Try to develop a unique approach to corporate citizenship. Stand out in your community and to your stakeholders.

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