Corporate conscience is about giving back to the communities that keep your business afloat, maybe even ones beyond your reach. Having a social good culture lets your employees know they are working for something that is bigger than themselves; their business is not one-dimensional and, more importantly, it cares about people. I am a firm believer that what you put into the world determines what you’re going to get out of it. People want to do things that matter. Companies that encourage employees to participate in volunteerism and giving back are creating fulfilling environments to work in.
Businesses have unique opportunities to give back to communities in a way that amplifies the intentions of their employees and company mission.
[For the latest in corporate social responsibility, see here for the Top 20 Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives for 2017.]
These 10 socially responsible companies know how to make an impact beyond their headquarters:
10. Toms “One for one” motto is a well known phrase. They’ve recently upped the ante by donating a portion of their sunglass sales to vision care for children in need. But it’s not just consumers that are involved in Toms’ social good, it’s employees as well. Toms’ employees participate in an annual Shoe Drop where they travel and donate a variety of goods to children. Their careers page specifically calls for employees that want to change lives and be a part of a movement.
9. LinkedIn. One Friday each month LinkedIn’s employees participate “InDay.” InDay’s purpose is to give back to the community through employee volunteerism and resources. Each InDay has a different theme allowing diverse departments to come together for a common cause. InDay activities range from guest speakers discussing global justice, to initiating global learning programs, and volunteering in local communities.
8. PG&E does its part to serve the communities of California. On Earth Day employees help clean and restore 18 state parks. They are exemplary members of Habitat for Humanity and volunteer by providing solar panels on new Habitat homes. Employee volunteerism hits inside the home as well by participating in various food programs providing those struggling to make ends meet with care packages and thousands of pounds of groceries. The employees clearly care about their Coast.
7. Zappos is a company creating a social impact with a shoebox. Zappos is known for a company culture that focuses on the well being of their employees and they are on a mission to make the world a better place, for everyone. They also donate huge amounts of Zappos goods to tons of charitable organizations. Their employees are paid for time off if they are volunteering, because Zappos knows 9-5 isn’t the only work that matters.
6. General Electric’s employees volunteer over 1 million hours per year! Donations from the GE foundation have supported senior centers, children with autism, literacy programs, and neglected urban spaces among many other programs. On Global Community Days, GE coordinates company-wide to address urgent projects around the world. GE knows that a helping hand starts in your backyard extends across the world.
5. Cisco’s initiatives cover every aspect of daily life. Global projects provide education, healthcare, economic empowerment, and disaster relief to areas in need. Cisco employee’s log more than 160,000 volunteer hours around the world in a year. Teams of Cisco employees called Civic Councils get involved in their local communities by organizing events and donation projects. Cisco asks their employees to, “be a part of the equation. You + Networks= Impact Multiplied.”
4. Deloitte employees both have the opportunity to lead and attend conferences that provide training on volunteerism and non-profit organization. What is that saying about teaching a man to fish? Deloitte has a keen awareness that training employees on skills based volunteer programs and running functional non-profits has the ability to have long term effects rather than simply taking an employee volunteer trip.
3. Verizon “is proud to support the generosity of their employees.” The Verizon Matching Gifts program matches employee financial donations 1:1 to qualified organizations. The spirit of giving doesn’t stop there. They also encourage employees to volunteer. If employees log more than 50 hours with an organization they can apply for a $750 grant awarded to the organization from Verizon.
2. Dell supports over 4,615 charities around the world. Dell YouthConnect provides technology and educational facilities in 11 countries. The Dell Social Innovation Challenge provides funding and mentorship to college students to further projects that help solve social problems. Dell’s disaster relief program provides holistic assistance to communities affected by natural disaster around the world. Dell’s employees are a social good force to be reckoned with.
1. IBM believes in Corporate Citizenship. Their social good projects extend across societal issues. Employees volunteer in environmental efforts, community economic development, education, health, literacy, language and culture. Their year long volunteer initiative, “Celebration of Service,” logged over 3,00,000 hours of service. IBM has also established, “On Demand Community,” enabling employees and retirees to find volunteer opportunities, through trainings and placement.
Social good initiatives are one of the ways that you can show a job candidate what it is like to work at your company. Candidates want to know they work for a company whose values are aligned with their own. These 10 companies are proof that corporate social responsibility isn’t just a buzz word.