The Corporate Citizenship Mandate

By | December 19, 2016

In the midst of today’s growing war for talent and increasingly competitive labor market, corporate citizenship programs should no longer be viewed simply as a “feel good” activity. Rather, this “win-win-win” opportunity — providing benefits for the charity, employer and employees — is quickly becoming a key differentiator in attracting and retaining talent.

In fact, a position of strong corporate citizenship has been shown to grow workforce comradery, increase engagement and promote a positive corporate image — all important factors in recruiting and retaining top talent.

Today’s professionals seek meaning in their work. They want to feel they are making a difference and contributing to the greater good. They want to take pride in their companies and give back to their communities. According to a recent Deloitte survey, 61 percent of young professionals factor corporate citizenship into their job decisions. Further, 70 percent strongly favor working for a company that has a solid reputation for community involvement.

Corporate citizenship should no longer be an overlooked piece of your organization’s corporate brand. The question is not whether you should offer a corporate citizenship program, but rather, how your organization can maximize and enhance its current efforts.

Corporate citizenship should no longer be an overlooked piece of your organization's corporate brand.

Why Develop a Corporate Citizenship Program?

Your organization doesn’t have a corporate citizenship program? Now is the time to get started. Fortunately, there is no “one-size-fits-all” formula for implementing an effective and impactful corporate citizenship program. Organizations have the flexibility to develop a plan that best fits within their corporate focus, strategy and budget.

A corporate citizenship program does not have to be implemented on a grand scale to be meaningful. A successful charity program can be as simple as organizing drives — including food drives, coat drives and toy drives — for employees to participate in.

Reach out to your employees to determine the charity work that they may already be conducting. Supporting employees in the work they are already doing can go a long way in showing your organization’s support. Some companies have even gone so far as to provide paid time off for employees to volunteer with a charity of their choice. More than 20 percent of companies are offering paid time off for charitable purposes.

Matching gift programs also offer a simple way for organizations to promote corporate citizenship. With matching gift programs, employees make a donation to a nonprofit that will be matched — usually dollar for dollar — by your company. Already, 94 percent of leading organizations are providing their employees with a matching gift program. Beyond boosting contributions and encouraging employee philanthropy, these types of corporate citizenship programs have shown to increase employee morale and engagement.

Promoting Your Company’s Charity Program

Despite its history of making a difference in the lives of individuals and communities, the insurance industry’s corporate citizenship mindset is not well-known. An organization’s charitable actions often get buried and overlooked. With corporate citizenship providing organizations with obvious recruitment and engagement incentives, ensuring that your company increases awareness of its efforts is vital.

When promoted properly, a strong charitable profile raises a company’s visibility and speaks well to its public reputation. Your organization’s message of corporate citizenship should be front and center.

Utilize your company’s website as a platform to share your organization’s charitable activities. Your “About Us” page is often the first visited section of your website. Take advantage of this high visibility to make your organization’s corporate citizenship more prominent.

Social media provides another great platform to share your charitable activities. Highlight company-sponsored events, share charity success stories and encourage your employees to provide their own experiences. Photos and personal stories go a long way in engaging individuals in your corporate citizenship activities.

There is no denying that corporate citizenship programs are a vital addition to your organization’s business strategy.

A successful and well-promoted corporate citizenship program will provide your organization with a unique solution that positively impacts both talent retention and recruitment.

About David Coons

Coons is senior vice president of The Jacobson Group, a provider of talent to the insurance industry. Phone: 800-466-1578. Email: dcoons@jacobsononline.com. More from David Coons

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Insurance Journal West December 19, 2016
December 19, 2016
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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