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Corporate Social Responsibility Programs

Fostering “impact careers” to benefit your company – and the world!

As competition grows for top talent, companies are realizing that one of the most compelling things they can offer talented workers is the opportunity to create an “impact career.”

Beyond competitive compensation and professionally satisfying work, many workers want their jobs – and their employers – to have a beneficial impact on the world. In one a Stanford University study, MBA graduates expressed a clear preference for jobs at socially responsible companies—and reported they would sacrifice an average of $13,700 in salary to join such companies.

Many companies are working to satisfy that desire through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. Many programs, however, aren’t thoughtfully implemented and, consequently, aren’t impacting the world as desired or delivering full recruitment and retention benefits.  A few practices could improve that situation.

Crowd source your CSR

The CSR programs which inspire the greatest employee engagement and generate the biggest impact don’t come from the desk of the CEO.  They come from the employees.

Whether you are starting or revamping a program, involve your employees in identifying key CSR goals that fit with your company’s products, operations, markets and corporate culture. Ask employees for ongoing suggestions about ways to achieve those goals and for their participation in putting ideas into action.

Combine training and CSR

Whether your CSR goals involve lowering your company’s carbon footprint or improving working conditions in a developing nation within your supply chain, CSR programs can generate opportunities for employees to tackle different challenges, develop new skills and foster leadership abilities.

Enable employees to step out of their comfort zone and lead a work crew on a Habitat for Humanity house, organize a charity golf tournament or drive efforts to eliminate work-site waste. You will end up with an employee who is more stimulated, more skilled and more committed to the company.

Communicate, communicate

Mentioning your CSR efforts on one page of your website or once in your annual report isn’t enough. Make CSR part of your employment branding and frequent in-house communications. Post updates on your Facebook or Twitter account, your intranet, bulletin boards or company newsletter. Frequent, short communications can sustain excitement and drive accomplishments in your CSR initiatives.

A few thoughtful measures could both improve your impact on the world and make you a more desirable employer in the process.